The Atlanta Falcons select LSU linebacker Duke Riley with the 75th overall pick in the third round of the NFL Draft.
Riley is the fifth player from LSU General Manager Thomas Dimitroff has drafted during his time here – the third time in three years. The 6-1, 230-pound linebacker played in 50 games with 13 starts for the Tigers over four years and tallied 144 total tackles, 10.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception, and two fumble recoveries.
Last year during his senior season, he took over as the starter, replacing current Falcons linebacker Deion Jones at inside linebacker, while starting all 12 games and finishing the season with 93 total tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks. His 93 total tackles led the Tigers and his 40 solo tackles ranked second on the team last season. He was also voted LSU’s Football MVP last season and named a permanent team captain for the Bayou Bengals last season.
Riley is only the second linebacker Dimitroff has drafted in the third round. Dimitroff also completed his 14th draft day trade when he traded the 63rd overall pick to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for the 75th, 149th, and 156th picks.
Head Coach Dan Quinn announced in his post-draft press conference that Riley will play inside linebacker for the Falcons. This is also the fourth linebacker drafted in the Quinn-era – the previous three have gone on to be starters on the team.