Is stiff in coverage and lacks the ability to quickly redirect/open up his hips and get back up to speed quickly. Isn’t real coordinated when asked to press off the line, lacks the lateral agility to slide his feet and get a good punch on tight ends and consistently gives up too much initial separation out of their breaks. Isn’t real sharp or explosive when asked to change directions. Is routinely forced to round off his breaks and it takes him awhile to get back up to speed. And even than, lacks the natural range/closing burst to consistently put himself in position to make plays on the football.
Impression: Lacks ideal power vs. the run and fluidity/range vs. the pass. Doesn’t look like an NFL roster type guy to me."
At the next level, Dent best fits as a 4-3 inside linebacker in a one-gap scheme, but has potential in other alignments. The scheme should not require Dent to engage offensive linemen regularly. Dent is athletic enough for a look at 4-3 outside linebacker, but his skills and instincts suggest strongly that he'll perform better staying inside.
Positives: Part-time starter for three seasons emerged during stellar 2010 season as a defensive captain at inside linebacker in a 3-4 for the Bulldogs. Is well-built and athletic, has the wheels to get to the corner and shut off the wide run. Can change direction well, and has the ability to turn and run with TEs in coverage. Quality tackler with good form. Disengages from blocks well. Hustles with intensity every play. Smart in the classroom, durable -- top intangibles.
Negatives: Is a bit small and narrow-framed for and NFL inside linebacker and built more like a traditional outside 'backer. Does not have truly elite speed, and might have more difficulty in coverage at the next level. Can disengage, but gives up ground doing so. Not well suited to consistently engage NFL OLs. Needs a lane for blitzing or gets neutralized. Went four seasons without an interception, despite breaking up five passes."
Positive: Stout run-defending linebacker who is best in the box. Stays with assignments, takes proper angles to the action, and gives effort. Forceful up the field, stacks well against the run, and plays with physicality. Has adequate change-of-direction skills, and nicely redirects to the ball carrier. Wraps up well when tackling.
Negative: Struggles in coverage, slow transitioning with tight ends off the line, and displays minimal range on the field. Lacks classic size and does not have the speed to make up for his size deficiency.
Analysis: Dent was a solid player for Georgia and a productive linebacker since his freshman season. He's a hard-nosed football player yet is a limited athlete with marginal upside. He plays with a special teams mentality and could be a reserve on the inside at linebacker."
Negatives: Not particularly fast (4.7-4.8-40)... Has some problems eluding blockers and getting through traffic, will get pancaked when eyes are locked in the backfield, does not protect legs very well against cut blocks... Needs to take better angles when moving laterally toward the ball carrier, lack of speed makes taking good angles a necessity... Missed some time prior to the start of the 2010 regular season after undergoing surgery on his foot after an "off-field accident," missed some games in 2009 as well... Not much of a threat in coverage, mostly a run-stopping linebacker, has not recorded a single interception in college... Lacks elite instincts, will get out of position and can be fooled by misdirection plays... Limited upside, is not a complete player at this point."
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