The Atlanta Falcons have a literal plethora of talented linebackers trying to make the roster, and another rookie standout by the name of Joplo Bartu is definitely one to watch.
Though he isn’t well-known outside the confines of Texas State University, expect that to change…and not just because of his unique name. Texas State already knows what the rest of us are just now finding out, and that’s the depths of talent that Bartu possesses and now utilizes with the Falcons. It’s not just any linebacker that records 62 tackles in the final four games of his college career, and it’s not just any rookie linebacker that can come in and play alongside his first-team defense counterparts. However, that’s exactly what Bartu did Thursday night in the preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens.
What’s even better for Bartu is that he’s starting to come out of the shadow created by the breakout of fellow rookie linebacker Paul Worrilow and getting noticed on his own merit. Whether the performance continues and whether it will be enough to survive the coming weeks of cuts is still up in the air.
There are quite a few viable talented options at linebacker, and that presents a problem…problem being, the Falcons can’t keep them all. That being said, can Bartu be considered a shoo-in to make the final roster cut? Absolutely not. And yes, it’s certainly early to make the call either way…even though the first round of roster cuts is looming large over all and sundry. However, if Bartu continues to deliver as he has so far, he’s absolutely a strong candidate to carve out his own spot on the final 53-man roster.