The Atlanta Falcons have signed linebacker Brandon Copeland as a free agent. Copeland played last season with the New England Patriots and his previous two seasons with the New York Jets.
In all, Copeland has played five seasons in the NFL, mostly as a backup, starting 18 games. His two most productive seasons came in 2018 and 2019 with the Jets when he had 35 and 42 tackles respectively.
At 6’3 and 263 pounds, Copeland provides a big body against the run and can pressure the quarterback as a hybrid end against the pass. in 2018 Copeland had 14 quarterback hits and eight tackles for loss.
Copeland joins safety Erik Harris as Atlanta most recent free agent signings. Harris penned a farewell letter to the Las Vegas Raiders yesterday while Harris and Copeland put pen to paper on their contracts today.
The linebacker unit was a relative strength for the Falcons in 2020 with Deion Jones and Foyesade Oluokun combining for over 200 tackles, but neither player is big by NFL standards. Oluokun is listed at 215 while Jones is 227.
Mykal Walker was named to the PFF All-Rookie team, and he’s listed at 230.
Having a 260+ pound thumper in the linebacking corp. should help Atlanta against the run. The Falcons were respectable against the run in 2020, but that can be deceiving as teams had little incentive to rush the ball when facing the league’s worst passing defense.