This pick is bound to excite Eagles fans. People wanted him to be the pick at No. 53 when they took Cam Jurgens instead ... but he ended up being available in the third round.
That Dean fell this far after previously being considered a potential first-round pick is curious. There seem to be concerns about his medicals:
Also, lots of ?s on Georgia LB Nakobe Dean. It's straight forward. He had a laundry list of injuries in college (ankle, foot, shoulder, wrist). Pec/groin hurt before pro day (may need pec surgery post-rookie year). Knee has wear-and-tear.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 29, 2022
And being smaller magnifies all that. https://t.co/HLV6s3Ielt
Georgia All-American LB Nakobe Dean -- now a Philadelphia Eagle with the 83rd overall pick -- has a pectoral injury that teams evaluated, but independent doctors sent letters to teams clearing him and classifying the injury as a pec strain, sources say.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) April 30, 2022
That being said, it feels like it’s worth taking a risk on Dean at this point. The Eagles desperately need help at this position and Dean was an important contributor the national championship defense. It’s pretty cool that the Eagles are pairing both Jordan Davis and Dean together in Philly.
Dean’s recovery timeline remains to be clarified. When healthy, he figures to compete for a starting linebacker job. T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White currently project as starting linebackers for the Eagles in 2022 but they’re both free agents after this season.
Here’s a scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:
Explosive, three-down linebacker with the demeanor and quickness to become a volume tackler while holding down third-down duties at a high level. Dean’s play recognition is a work in progress, which limits reaction time and forces him to deal with more blockers than he’ll see as he gains more experience. Quick feet and plus agility will bring him to ball-carriers at a high rate but a lack of size and length means he’ll need to fine-tune his approach as a tackler to make sure he finishes what he starts. He might lack measurables, but he has the toughness and technique to see a boost in his performance once his play becomes more proactive.
College stats via Sports Reference:
Spider graph via Mockdraftable:
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