Nakobe Dean is the linebacker every NFL franchise needs

Nakobe Dean. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Nakobe Dean. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Nakobe Dean
Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Nakobe Dean (17) celebrates with the trophy after winning the College Football Playoff National Championship. Syndication: The Indianapolis Star /

Potential NFL landing spots for Nakobe Dean

So let’s cut to the chase. While everyone wants Nakobe Dean, what are realistic landing spots for this elite linebacker? Let’s look where Dean might be playing his football on Sundays.

Denver Broncos

Denver at pick No. 9 would be an intriguing proposition for Dean. The Broncos have a new defensive coordinator in Ejiro Evero who has moved across from the Rams post their Super Bowl triumph. Dean will look at that dominant Rams defense and be excited to play a part in building similar in Denver.

The Broncos passed over Micah Parsons last year to select Patrick Surtain II to nail down the cornerback position. While that pick cannot be criticised, the Broncos must have looked at the impact Parsons made on the Dallas defense. Whether Denver picks Dean at #9 or tries to stretch for a quarterback at this point is anybody’s guess. But the value lies very much in the favour of Dean and he has the football IQ to fit in well with the new regime in Denver.

Dallas Cowboys

Talking of Dallas, could the Cowboys swoop in and steal Dean with pick No. 24? That seems a long way for Dean to fall but with the Leighton Vander Esch entering free agency and the chance to have Parsons and Dean in the same defense may be too much of an opportunity to pass up for Mike McCarthy. This would be a fantastic pairing, however seems to be too late in the round for Dean to still be there.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles certainly have draft capital this year. In fact the Eagles have three first-round picks at Nos.15, 16, and 19. While the Eagles again seem obsessed with finding a wide receiver, despite already drafting two in successive drafts, there is no doubt they need help in the trenches.

With a trio of first-round picks all around the mid-way mark, they have the luxury of selecting for their needs as well as the best player available. I question if Dean is still there at this stage, but there is no doubt that grabbing a linebacker who can blitz as well as Dean would be a significant trade-up from the talent they have now.

Tennessee Titans

In Nashville, the Titans will need to go about replacing Jayon Brown and Rashaan Evans who hit free agency this year. Of course, Monty Rice is also in Music City so would be a familiar face to help Dean with the settling-in process. The downside about the Titans for Dean is that they still have Zach Cunningham and David Long on the roster which means he would have to oust two starters.

However, this would give Dean time to settle in and develop during his first year. Something all rookies really need. The Titans are a franchise on the rise so this would be a good landing spot, although pick No. 26 is even further for Dean to fall so the chances of him being there are slim.

Baltimore Ravens

Watch out for the Baltimore Ravens at pick No.14. Like the Eagles, they sit tantalizingly mid-first round meaning they can watch the drama (& carnage) of the top 10 unfold before their eyes. The Ravens are historically a defense-dominated franchise and Dean would fit nicely into the culture in Baltimore.

While the mock drafts have another Georgia football star Trayvon Walker being picked here, Walker may too have gone at this point. Should Dean be available at this point, there is a really good chance the Ravens franchise can’t look beyond picking this young linebacker.

Green Bay Packers

Finally, if – and it is a big if – should Dean fall as far as pick No. 28, then it would be hard for the Packers not to pull the trigger. The Packers traditionally do not select linebackers in the first round and the word is they remain obsessed with finding a wide receiver to keep the will he, won’t he Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau.

But the Packers roster has resigning issues across the board and one player they need to resign is linebacker De’Vondre Campbell. Should Campbell not be enticed back then Nakobe Dean would be a natural replacement.

There is no question that Nakobe Dean will bring value to whichever NFL franchise selects him. While the key to a successful NFL career is often finding the right fit, Dean has the correct attitude, skillset, and flexibility to suit almost all franchises.

This means he will be in high demand come April 28th. If mock drafts are to be believed, the “hype” players will go in the top ten – including perhaps two quarterbacks leaving significant value on the board from mid-round onwards.

Selecting Nakobe Dean mid-round or perhaps towards the end of the first would be a steal. But as so often happens in the draft, value isn’t always best in the first 10 picks. So grab Nakobe Dean when you can. You won’t regret it.

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