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With the 19th pick in the 2010 NFL draft Thursday night, the Atlanta Falcons selected Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.

The linebacker got the good news at his viewing party, where he was joined by about 20 family members and friends.

“I was smiling from ear to ear, but I knew it was about to go down,” Weatherspoon said.

The Falcons decided not to make a trade down with Denver and chose to select Weatherspoon.

“We really felt that a cover-type linebacker, who has speed and flies around the football, was in our best interest,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “We got the guy we were targeting all along.”

Set on drafting Weatherspoon, the Falcons didn’t use their allotted 10 minutes and made the call to New York around the five-minute mark.

Before the pick was announced, Weatherspoon, who goes by SeanWSpoon12 on, shot out a tweet.

“I’m a falcon!!!” was sent by SeanWSpoon12 at 9:30.

“I wanted to let my fans know,” Weatherspoon said. “As far as Twitter, the Atlanta fans have been showing me nothing but love the whole time throughout this process. They have been tweeting me every day wishing that I became a Falcon.”

Weatherspoon, who led the Tigers in tackles over the past three seasons, is considered an outside linebacker.

The Falcons believe that Weatherspoon can help them in pass coverage. Weatherspoon played in the Big 12 and faced a lot of pass-happy spread offenses. His coverage skills are solid.

“He was able to play out in space,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “I’ve said many times that the game is becoming a spacing game. I think it’s definitely an advantage to have guys that can run and matchup with tight ends and running backs that we are going to face in our division.”

The Falcons have two picks in the third round, the 83rd and 98th overall picks in the draft.

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