Why Falcons fans should be excited about Arnold Ebiketie

May 26, 2022; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons linebackers Arnold Ebiketie (47) and Adetokunbo Ogundeji (92) shown on the field at Falcons OTA at the Falcons Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Luke Easterling
Draft Wire

The Atlanta Falcons went into the 2022 NFL draft with huge needs at multiple positions on both sides of the ball, and none more pressing than at the edges of their defensive front.

After opting to help the offense with their top-10 selection in the first round, the Falcons turned their attention to that edge defender spot to kick off their Day 2 of the NFL Draft. Atlanta spent the No. 38 overall pick on Penn State’s Arnold Ebiketie.

RELATED: Grades for Atlanta Falcons selections in 2022 NFL Draft

An explosive edge rusher with a knack for making big plays once he gets to the opposing quarterback, Ebiketie was projected by many to be a first-round talent, making him a potential bargain for the Falcons in the second round.

Even in a class loaded with talented edge rushers, Ebiketie could have easily found himself among the top 32 picks. He recorded 62 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks for the Nittany Lions. 

His wait will be Atlanta’s gain, as the Falcons grabbed a dynamic sack artist who immediately becomes their most dangerous threat to the passer. He has the technique and pass-rushing moves to make an immediate impact, even if he’s eased into the speed of the NFL game as a rotational player in his rookie season.

It shouldn’t take long for Ebiketie’s pass-rushing prowess to earn him full-time snaps for the Falcons, and his ability to knock the ball loose and create takeaways should be a welcome addition for a defense that’s desperate for more big plays.