More than 80 picks passed before the Atlanta Falcons went back on the clock, and when they did, the pick fell on the defensive side of the ball. The Falcons selected Georgia linebacker Akeem Dent late in the third round Friday night.
Dent had 126 tackles in 2010 for the Bulldogs, which was good enough for second in the SEC. He had five sacks during his college career and forced two fumbles last season.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff said several teams had called the Falcons to potentially trade up to the No. 91 spot and give the Falcons more picks, but those teams were also targeting Dent.
Dent was an All-SEC Second Team selection by the Associated Press in 2010 and also was the defensive captain. He started all 13 games last season.
During his first three seasons, Dent posted 114 tackles (64 solo) with two sacks and six tackles for loss. In his junior season in 2009, Dent appeared in eight games with four starts and registered 32 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. As a sophomore, he started eight of 13 games he played in. He produced 46 tackles (27 solo), 1.5 sacks and three tackles for loss. He was selected as a member of the Georgia Athletic Director's Academic Honor Roll as a junior and a senior, and earned the team's 'True Grit' Award in 2010.
As a prep standout at Douglass High School, Dent registered 140 tackles as a senior. He earned Super Southern 100 honors from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Class AAAAA first-team All-State accolades from the Georgia Sports Writers Association. He was also named to the Orlando Sentinel All-Southern Team, the Valdosta Daily Times All-State defensive squad, and was a Fox Sports Network South Countdown to Signing Day "All-South" third-team choice.
Dent graduated from UGA in December 2010 with a degree in housing.
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