Bold Eagles predictions heading into the 2023 NFL season
3. Nakobe Dean was worth waiting for
Leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft, former Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean was expected to be a first-round selection. However, a pectoral injury caused Dean to slide to the third round. Dean played a huge role in Georgia’s 2021-22 run to an NCAA National Championship run who seemed poised to make an instant impact in the NFL.
The Eagles decided to take a “redshirt year” approach to ease Dean into NFL action and allow him to get healthy. Now, according to Bo Wulf of The Athletic, Dean “will be penciled into a starting role” in 2023.
Dean’s insertion into the starting defensive unit could prove to be a massive decision because the Eagles lost their two starting linebackers from last season (T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White). With that being said, Dean should see plenty of time on the field and have loads of opportunities to prove why teams should have taken a chance on him despite the injury woes.
Dean is a high-IQ player who has great sideline-to-sideline speed at the linebacker position. The Eagles have developed a bit of a reputation for acquiring defensive players out of Georgia, drafting five former Bulldogs over the last two seasons: Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith, Kelee Ringo, and Dean. Dean will be able to establish himself as the best of the bunch this upcoming season given the role he is stepping into.