"With the NFL draft a little over a month away, one thing is starting to come into focus. The Falcons are going to take a linebacker in the draft."
When our friend D. Orlando Ledbetter starts a story off like that, you sit up and pay attention. Ledbetter's about as tapped in as you're going to get with the Falcons, so his hunch is likely to have a little weight to it.
As it turns out, it does. Ledbetter reported yesterday that Georgia linebacker Akeem Dent and California linebacker Mike Mohamed are coming in for private workouts in April. It's part of a furious effort to get as many prospects as possible in front of the team's coaches, front office guys and scouts, an effort I'm loving.
But you're likely more interested in what Dent and Mohamed bring to the table. Dent's the more intriguing option in my mind, because he was an extremely productive inside linebacker at Georgia who piled up 126 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks in 2010. At a compact 6'1" and 242 pounds, he could be an excellent backup for Curtis Lofton or the second coming of Stephen Nicholas, a guy who can move around at all three spots and make some noise.
But my gut tells me Dent will go higher than Mohamed, who intrigues because of his coverage skills. He picked seven passes in 26 starts, runs a crisp 4.65 40-yard-dash and clearly has the smarts Thomas Dimitroff loves in his draft picks, accumulating a 3.44 GPA at Cal.
Honestly, I like both prospects. It's good to see the Falcons doing due diligence on a couple of talented linebackers with Stephen Nicholas and Mike Petersons' futures uncertain. If they're around in the middle rounds, you could see them in a Falcons jersey this fall.
What say you?