Originally posted on Grits Blitz  |  Last updated 7/24/12

A couple of days ago we learned that Lofa Tatupu had suffered a pectoral injury. Now we find out that he will be out for the season. Obviously, this is bad news as fans were looking forward to seeing what Tatupu had left in the tank and if he could seize the middle linebacker job that was left vacant when Curtis Lofton decided to study witchcraft and bounty hunting instead of playing football.

Time for Dent to step forward

 

With Tatupu out that paves the way for former Georgia Bulldog Akeem Dent to grab the middle linebacker position. As a rookie, Dent played in 17 games and made 21 tackles. Most of his opportunity came on special teams as he was one of the better special teams players that the Falcons had last year and improved as the season progressed.

Dent is very strong against the run. Here are some snippets from Tom Melton's scouting report from when he was coming out of college:

Positives: Good size, strength and closing speed for his size. Reads run very quickly and flows to the ball very nicely. Plays downhill well and fills extremely well against the run and is an absolute tackling machine. Very reliable wrap up tackler and he shows some pop as a hitter though that is not his mantra. Shows some ability to get off of blocks and moves through the trash well to get to the ball carrier. Gives good effort in pursuit and will chase plays down from the backside. Shows some ability as a blitzer and times up his blitzes pretty well.

Negatives: Doesn’t offer a lot of ability in pass coverage. This is where he struggles. Doesn’t always get very deep in his drops and reads run so well that sometimes his aggressiveness will hurt him as a pass defender.

Sounds a lot like Curtis Lofton to me, which is why we probably let Curtis move on to pursue bounty hunting. Dent will look to grab the role of run stuffing middle linebacker and play a decent amount of snaps except when the Falcons line up in the "Big Nickel".

The Falcons also re-signed veteran Mike Peterson. I see this as solely a "just in case" move. Peterson is a great clubhouse guy and he's a positive presence on the young guys. Nothing bad happens by bringing him in and if he's able to be a solid back-up then it's a solid move. That being said, I would expect the Falcons to keep their eyes open and potential bring in another veteran linebacker as cuts start to happen at training camp.

[follow]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Reggie Bush reportedly closing in on contract with Bills

Report: Eric Berry planning to no-show training camp

Eagles could have interest in Gordon if Browns trade him

Report: Fitzpatrick, Jets not likely to have deal before camp

Report: Anquan Boldin signs one-year deal with Detroit Lions

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Formula One CEO's mother-in-law kidnapped in Brazil

Gregory going to treatment after another drug violation

Mike McCarthy ends weight talk, declares Eddie Lacy ‘ready’

Report: Redskins have discussed possibly signing Hardy

Kimbo Slice’s son set to make MMA debut

Did Bell miss drug tests due to changed phone number?

A look at the trade market for center fielders

Tyler Johnson 'threw up a couple of times' over $50M deal

Should the Yankees hold a fire sale?

Five young soccer players to keep an eye on at Rio Olympics

Conor McGregor's coach predicts result of Nate Diaz rematch

Jordy Nelson starts camp on PUP list, no reason for panic?

Mark Dantonio denies MSU negatively recruits against PSU

Brett Favre selects wife Deanna as his Hall of Fame presenter

Durant shopped for OKC home week before joining Warriors?

Jarron, Jason Collins speak in support of LGBTQ rights at DNC

Von Miller has some wild thoughts about human evolution

The crowning achievement of Sasha Banks

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker