Georgia football: Limitations drop Nakobe Dean in the NFL Draft

Nakobe Dean of the Georgia Bulldogs walks across Tennessee's field. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Nakobe Dean of the Georgia Bulldogs walks across Tennessee's field. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Georgia football hosted 122 NFL personnel guys for their annual pro day, breaking a school record. All 32 teams had representation to watch the 16 guys for the Dawgs and the extra players who also worked out.

One of the most anticipated players that scouts wanted to watch was linebacker Nakobe Dean. He got his measurements done at the NFL Combine but didn’t work out.

He limited himself on Wednesday during the pro day, which brings up the question — can these limitations force him to drop in draft projections?

Georgia football linebacker Nakobe Dean could drop to the middle to late 1st round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

At this point, it isn’t far-fetched to assume that it will drop him some. Dean should still be a first-round draft pick, but suggesting that he would be a top-10 pick is a bit of a long shot. He couldn’t show the NFL personnel what he has, so all they have is his film.

That tape is impressive, but with some suggesting that his size puts him at a disadvantage, it would have only helped him prove just how talented he is in person.

Roquan Smith saw similar discussions about his size, but he was able to show that size didn’t matter, which ultimately helped him go as the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

Dean should still be a first-rounder no matter what because he is that good, and his size doesn’t hinder him from being a monster on the field, but we have to think his limited performance at pro day hurt him.

A pectoral injury limited Dean on Wednesday during Pro Day, so in the last time scouts could see him in on field action, it wasn’t even close to this best. He didn’t look like the same linebacker that tortured opponents throughout last season. So while his physical ceiling has seen him drop in most mock drafts — Dean could drop even more now.

During the broadcast of Pro Day, the SEC Network showed the New England Patriots grabbing him at the No. 21 overall pick. That selection isn’t terrible at all, but Dean is top-10 worthy when he is 100% healthy. However, it’s safe to suggest he will be a top-25 pick, at this point, with a little over a month until the 2022 NFL Draft.

Dean is still one of the best linebackers in the country, but when scouts and coaches cannot physically evaluate him, they have to go off what they see and watch on tape. Hopefully, we’re wrong about him dropping.

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We’re sticking with him getting picked up by the Pats right now. Head coach Bill Belichick loves a good Georgia football player, so he could take a shot at Dean in the first round.