Atlanta Falcons 2013 Breakout Player Projections

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Jan 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56) and middle linebacker Akeem Dent (52) react after San Francisco 49ers kicker David Akers (not pictured) misses a 38-yard field goal against the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter of the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons in my opinion are right behind the Green Bay Packers going into 2013 as the best team in the NFC. Matt Ryan has reached elite status as a quarterback, and their offensive weaponry is as dangerous and explosive as any in the NFL.

With another year of chemistry built, I think the Falcons are going to be better than ever and ready to compete for a Super Bowl title.

This team has done a great job of hitting on high draft picks in recent years, propelling them to elite status in the NFL. There are some young players who are ready to break out and contribute in 2013 for this Falcons team, and we’ve pin-pointed three guys that could be in line for big seasons. Here are three players–one from each of the last three draft classes–that could come up big for Atlanta in 2013.

Third Year — Akeem Dent, LB

After a season where he had 64 tackles in 2012, Dent is ready for much bigger things in 2013. He is now a full-time starting linebacker for the Falcons with Curtis Lofton in New Orleans, and he could step up as one of the leaders for this team in 2013 as the starting middle linebacker.

The former third round pick out of Georgia isn’t the flashiest player on Atlanta’s defense, but was impressive after stepping into a starting role last season. He will now be entrenched in the lineup and get more comfortable being on the field more often.

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