How Nakobe Dean is the most important steal of the 2022 NFL Draft

Nakobe Dean (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Nakobe Dean (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

Former Georgia football linebacker and 2021 Butkus Award winner Nakobe Dean is heading to the perfect location, but the journey was absolutely ridiculous.

A one-time first-round projection, Dean fell to the third round of the NFL Draft when the Philadelphia Eagles selected him. While it seems it bothered him at the time, he just has more reason to wreak havoc on the NFL.

The Eagles got the most important steal of the draft in Dean, and not everyone will agree with that, but he is.

Georgia football linebacker Nakobe Dean is the steal of the draft, and the Eagles will benefit for decades.

He the most important steal because Dean isn’t an average player and will elevate Philadelphia’s defense quicker than most realize. There are exceptional players, and Dean is one of those guys because of his instinct and intelligence.

Josh Pate nailed it in this video. While some players get passes for being shorter, injuries, and other things, 31 other teams overlooked Dean and said nope, and he isn’t what we need.

All 31 of those teams could have used a player like him on their squad, and it will be hilarious when Dean proves every one of them wrong.

Dean is one of the players who unfortunately fell victim to these NFL experts holding so much weight on measurables. It’s understandable because sometimes players’ sizes and stuff can be a game-changer, but not in this young man’s case.

Then the whole injury rumors and speculation during the draft and how that also caused Dean to drop in the rankings were also disgusting. Why would teams not ask him about those things personally? Instead of seeing a player of his magnitude drop, they should have asked.

Also, what doctor gave these results, and why isn’t this a bigger story?

Dean came out and said no doctor said he needed surgery after the draft, and no one is covering it more speaks a lot about the NFL Draft and that whole process.

To quickly recap, Ian Rapoport reported during the middle of the third round, and Dean had to sit there and watch it unfold.

Rumors circled about a pectoral strain, tear, meniscus tear in one of his knees, and some even suggested his shoulder was one of the things that he injured. Experts called him not wanting to have surgery a major concern and red flag.

There are so many questions about this ridiculous situation, but instead, it gets brushed over because the good news is he will be fine for rookie camp. If it were such a red flag and major concern, why didn’t they call him? Why didn’t they get more than the opinion given to them?

Dean went from being a Top-10 projection to going 83 in the Draft. Michigan’s linebacker David Ojabo tore his Achilles during his Pro Day, and that was less concerning than the stuff surrounding Dean as Ojabo got selected before the Georgia linebacker.

I’m not suggesting anything, but a lot of this is fishy. Also, why are these things out there when there are HIPPA laws to protect players.

Dean never missed a game in his college career. Did he have injuries, and things arise? Yes. He had surgery on his labrum in the spring of 2020, but he was fine throughout the season.

If there was an injury, Dean is the kind of person who would disclose that information.

He didn’t work out at the NFL Combine because of this reason, which is when the issues started to arise and when the Georgia Pro Day didn’t go that well for him, more questions surfaced.

Dean isn’t trying to one-up any NFL teams or anything like that. He is a stand-up, high-character guy who also happens to be a talented football player.

Thankfully he has the character traits that this incident won’t affect him. In multiple interviews after the draft, Dean said that he felt blessed and that he got picked by a great organization.

Those words are just who Dean is — someone raised with respect and integrity. However, it was good to see him call out those who claimed he needed surgery.

Dean had to watch his draft stock plummet and lose money out of his pocket. In an interview with NBC Sports, he discussed what it felt like to drop, and it was heartbreaking to read. However, for him, it wasn’t about the money, but that all of this was rumors and untrue.

Now he will be ready for rookie camp in the next couple of weeks, and Howie Roseman said during one of the interviews about Dean that the team would have to hold him back, which should fire up all of the Eagles fans.

He is the steal of the draft because of his instinct and football IQ. Dean doesn’t need to be 6-5 and 250-pounds to play linebacker in the NFL. He doesn’t need mile-long limbs. Dean is faster than anyone realizes, his horizontal speed is incredible, and there is no reason these rumors should have dropped him as they did.

Not to mention PFF graded him at 91.8 in 2021 which was first among Power 5 linebackers and the highest grade since 2017.

Dean did it all and was the field general for the Dawgs’ historic defense. He had 72 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, and 20-plus quarterback pressures. He was a tremendous asset to that team, yet he wasn’t good enough because of “injury concerns,” and his “measurables” weren’t ideal.

When he is All-Pro, sacking other teams’ quarterbacks and being a huge asset to the Eagles’ defense, people will remember and baffle at him dropping to the third round.

He is the steal of the draft, and the Eagles knew to be smarter than the other 31 teams at the right moment. Even though they could have selected him sooner, they still got him and realized those concerns weren’t as significant.

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There is no debate about it, Dean got robbed in the 2022 NFL Draft, and no one will know why because it’s in the past now. However, a player of his magnitude will be far more successful because of this situation and make him work even harder. It will humble him and, in return, make his game even better.