Folorunso Fatukasi named ‘perfect’ free-agent match for Ravens
If the Baltimore Ravens are serious about upgrading the trenches in 2022, they should pursue New York Jets defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi in free agency.
‘Foley’ Fatukasi has likely outpriced his stay in New York and will test the open waters of free agency, projected by some to command a deal worth over $10 million a year.
The 27-year-old hasn’t been linked to the Ravens much this offseason, but he fits the profile of a powerful run-stuffing defensive tackle that Baltimore is looking for in 2022.
Part of Fatukasi’s appeal is his natural talent; another part of it is the Ravens’ dire needs. PFF’s Ben Linsey listed one perfect free-agent match for every NFL team and had the Jets defensive tackle finding a new home in Baltimore in 2022:
"“The Ravens seemingly always have a large run-stuffing nose tackle in the middle of their defensive line. And Fatukasi fits that mold. Brandon Williams and Justin Ellis are set to hit free agency for Baltimore this offseason, leaving the Ravens to replace their snaps.”"
Current nose tackles Brandon Williams and Justin Ellis may leave in free agency, which opens a gaping hole in the defensive line. Fatukasi serves as a potential high-caliber replacement and could especially boost the Ravens’ run defense.
The Ravens could pursue Folorunso Fatukasi to improve their defensive line
The Jets’ run defense has admittedly disappointed this past year, but between 2019 and 2020, Fatukasi earned a PFF run-defense grade of 90.4, ranked third-highest among all interior defensive linemen.
In 2021, Fatukasi started 15 games and recorded 46 combined tackles and six quarterback hits, though he’s been a non-factor in the sack category. Baltimore may not be able to mold him into an elite pass-rusher in 2022, but what Fatukasi can do, he does extremely well.
We’d expect the Ravens’ defensive line to get an extreme makeover this season, and while plenty of draft prospects abound, a seasoned nose tackle like Fatukasi could thrive in Baltimore’s defensive scheme.
Considering the Ravens’ desperate needs this offseason, there’s not a whole lot to complain about when analyzing Fatukasi’s skills and talents.
Folorunso Fatukasi may be on the higher side of what the Ravens are willing to pay for a free agent defensive tackle, but quality replacements don’t come cheap.
Come free agency, beggars can’t be choosers.