FLOWERY BRANCH, GA - The Atlanta Falcons stayed close to home by selecting Georgia linebacker Akeem Dent in the third round of the NFL draft.
Dent (6-1, 233) led Georgia with 126 tackles and had 2½ sacks as a senior. Dent, an Atlanta native, provides depth for the Falcons. Outside linebacker Stephen Nicholas is a restricted free agent. Mike Peterson, 34, also is a free agent.
Dent started 29 games at Georgia, playing both outside and inside. He was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference pick as a senior.
After trading up in the first round to take Alabama receiver Julio Jones with the No. 6 overall pick, the Falcons had to wait 85 picks before making Dent their next selection on Friday night.