Well, that escalated quickly. The Eagles decided to take a punt on linebacker Nakobe Dean in the third round of the NFL Draft. The Georgia product had slipped from his expected first-round pedestal due to a flurry of injury concerns, none of which fazed Howie Roseman.
The Eagles GM expects Nakobe Dean to be ready for minicamp, which is staggering considering the noise that surrounded his name over the past 24 hours. Dean reportedly endured a labrum surgery at the end of 2021 and also had an ankle injury as a freshman, although he didn’t actually ever miss a single game as a Georgia Bulldog.
Most recently, he suffered a pectoral injury which stopped him from working out fully at the NFL Combine and at Georgia’s Pro Day. This seemed to scare NFL teams, as did his decision to deny surgery and instead pursue rehab.
The Eagles were strangely one of the healthiest teams in the NFL last year. if Roseman feels confident enough that his strength and conditioning unit can get Dean up to speed, then they may well have the steal of the draft…and if anyone knows th extent of those injuries, it’s former running-mate Jordan Davis, who he will reunite with in Philadelphia.
Dean projects more of a WILL than as a MIKE at the next level, and that’s exactly what the Eagles have been lacking. Someone who’s as good in coverage as he is defending the run, Dean is a dominant talent who will provide a huge boost to this LB room.
At the end of the day, the Eagles could’ve selected Dean at pick #18 and everyone would’ve been satisfied. If Roseman is right and there are no long-term health concerns at all, then they’ve been able to acquire A.J. Brown and still find a way to acquire the top linebacker in this class.
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