by Ryan Myers
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Florida State, S, Akeem Dent
Name - Akeem Dent
Pos - S
Team - Florida State
HT/WT - 6’1” 191 lbs.
Home - Pahokee, FL
Akeem Dent played his high school football at Palm Beach Central. Dent tallied 81 tackles, five interceptions and three forced fumbles as a junior, and 67 tackles and one interception while serving as team captain as a senior in 2018. He was graded as a 4-star recruit by ESPN and 247Sports, while receiving a 5-star rating from Rivals.com. Out of high school, Dent chose Florida State as his next step in his football career.
In his first season with FSU, Dent played in all 13 games making 5 starts at safety. He made 35 tackles, 1.5 for loss, and seven pass breakups. His pass breakups total was most in ACC by a true freshman. During the shortened season in 2020, Dent played in 7 games, once again having 5 starts. He made 13 tackles in the short season.
In 2021, Dent had a breakout season as he played in 10 games, making 8 starts, and tallying 44 tackles, including 0.5 sack, 1 interception, and 4 pass breakups. He solidified himself as a valuable starting piece on the Noles’ defense heading into 2022.
In Dent’s final two seasons with FSU, he had similar numbers, making 53 tackles in 2022 and 42 tackles in 2023. He had 3 TFL over these two seasons and 5 pass breakups. These consistent campaigns over his last three years gained the attention of scouts. Dent could have left FSU after 2022 to enter the draft but decided to return this season for Mike Norvell and the Seminoles.
As a safety, Dent’s tall and lengthy frame helps him bat passes away and his strong hands tend to rip at balls that reach the receiver’s hands. He shows tremendous quickness and speed, allowing him to mirror and keep up with even the quickest receivers. He has strong recovery and straight line speed and uses it well to cover all parts of the field. He also plays with a high level of physicality as a tackler and run-stopper for his size at just 191 pounds, with room to add more mass if desired.
Dent would benefit by improving his mechanics at the next level. His footwork is choppy at times, and he tends to be a bit sluggish during and coming out of his backpedal. This leads to him giving up the big play over the top as he did in college at a rate which is higher than ideal. However, he is a good athlete with fluent hips, which will hopefully allow him to improve on these mechanics as he transitions into the NFL.
Dent is quick enough to cover most receivers and his physicality as a hitter and run-stopper are very good for his size. He will need to improve his technique issues before being a consistent presence in an NFL secondary, but with his athleticism and fluid movement skills, he should be able to do so.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 5th round or 6th round