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. Was a leader on his defense and also showed leadership capability during the East-West Shrine Game week.
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. Doesn’t flip his hips very well and change directions well which hurts him in pass coverage. Seems kind of tight hipped, so when he plays downhill he is very effective but struggles to turn the corner or change directions fast. Won’t fit a lot of schemes because of these limitations.
Overall: I think Dent projects very well to the 3-4 ILB position but I don’t think he has a lot of versatility to play in other schemes. He should be a very good special teamer earlier in his career and at worst I think he ends up being a solid back-up ILB in a 3-4 defense. He might have it in him to become a starter, but his limitations in pass coverage are going to hurt him unless he improves his awareness in pass coverage and works on getting deeper in his drops. He won’t ever be great at running with faster offensive players in man coverage though and I doubt that he has great hands for the interception. But as a run defender he could be very effective versus the run especially if he continues to improve his hand usage to keep blockers off of him in the trenches.
Projection: 6th/7th round. I definitely think Dent will get drafted, but I don’t know how early he will get picked. Hopefully he goes earlier than this since he was nice enough to conduct an interview with me and he was a very nice guy, but he isn’t a very versatile prospect which hurts his value.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point of Attack: 3.5
Pass Rush: 2.5
Thanks for reading!