The Falcons had to be patient after moving up 21 spots to No. 6 overall and drafting Alabama receiver Julio Jones in the first round. After waiting 85 picks, Atlanta picked Georgia linebacker Akeem Dent in the third round on Friday night.
Dent provides insurance for the Falcons, who have Stephen Nicholas and 34-year-old Mike Peterson as free agents.
Dent (6-1, 233) led Georgia with 126 tackles and had 2½ sacks as a senior.
Dent started 29 games at Georgia, playing both outside and inside. He was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference pick as a senior.