The 2022 NFL Draft class is loaded with players that will have a chance to contribute right away. Whether it’s the undrafted players who could be thrust into playing time with injuries or drafted players who could very well alter the course of Eagles history, the 2022 class is filled with talented individuals.
Perhaps no player has the ceiling or the skillset that matches what linebacker Nakobe Dean can bring to the table for Philadelphia.
After over six years without a true pro-bowl-type linebacker, Nakobe Dean could be the type of player that changes the way the Eagles defense is perceived. Now, there are past Eagle linebackers that are noticing the skillset of the young linebacker as well.
“He has a very, very high football. He’s really good at running and tackling…you can tell he’s really smart.” Jeremiah Trotter said. Trotter isn’t speaking out of turn either. As the best linebacker the Eagles have had over the last two decades, the former third round pick shares a likely comparison to Dean.
Nakobe Dean’s college career is far more expansive than Trotter’s was though. A leader of the 2022 National Champion Georgia Bulldogs, there are many examples throughout the year of Dean’s leadership playing a key role in the team’s dominance.
One of the only main detractions from Nakobe in the draft was his overall size and an injury history that bumped a first round talent, all the way to the third round.
Fortunately, there are plenty of examples of undersized players dominating and changing the way we scout their positions. Jason Kelce, Dean’s new teammate is a great example of this.
Nakobe Dean’s size and injury concerns will linger with him throughout training camp. But his burst, physicality and leadership intangibles will also be a major calling card and could change the entire Eagles defense for the better.
He won’t draw the attention that Jordan Davis did coming out, or bring a level of future excitement like Cam Jurgens, but Nakobe Dean could be the player that ends up with the highest ceiling for Philly.
A star may have fallen to the Eagles in the third round, just like it did over 20 years ago with Jeremiah Trotter.
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