When the Falcons took Georgia linebacker Akeem Dent in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft, my first reaction was, "Wow, that's a steal." After thinking about things for a moment, I began to think, "Where in the world will be line up?"
The third round seemed to be too high to take Curtis Lofton's backup at the middle linebacker position — which was basically what Dent played his senior year at UGA when he was moved inside for the Bulldogs' switch to the 3-4. With second-year player Sean Weatherspoon on the weak side, there was no chance Dent would be over there either. So, I had a hunch that the Falcons might bring him in as the potential down-the-line replacement of veteran strong side linebacker Mike Peterson.
FoxSports.com's Adam Caplan reported this week that Dent projects to play on the strong side. With Peterson coming into his 13th season and also being a free agent who may or may not be back with the Falcons for 2011, Dent is in good position to become a stalwart on the strong side pretty early.
The best case scenario, however, might be to have him learn for a while under Peterson — a veteran who has done wonders in taking younger players under his wing, including Weatherspoon last season. If that's not the case, however, Dent has three years of strong side experience at UGA to lean on if he should go into the season as the starting linebacker on that side.
What do you think?