The Georgia Bulldogs have had six linebackers drafted to the NFL prior to now 4 years. Can junior linebacker Nakobe Dean preserve the momentum rolling within the 2022 NFL Draft? Dean was a Butkus Award semifinalist final season and is hotly tipped to be the most effective linebackers in faculty soccer this fall. Nevertheless, what does his scouting report inform us about his potential as an NFL prospect?
Nakobe Dean NFL Draft Profile
- Place: Linebacker
- Faculty: Georgia
- Present Yr: Junior
- Top: 6’0″
- Weight: 225 kilos
Nakobe Dean Scouting Report
Dean was lauded for his athletic capacity and instincts popping out of Horn Lake Excessive Faculty. A few of these traits have transitioned to the faculty soccer stage and function a very good start line for his scouting report.
Dean has spectacular soccer instincts as a run-stopping linebacker. He has a outstanding knack for diagnosing the play, working by way of site visitors, finding the ball, and making a play. The Georgia product can scrape effectively alongside the formation to seek out the ball service and finish the play.
Dean does his greatest work in opposition to the run. He repeatedly makes use of his play pace to come back downhill with power to impression the run sport. Moreover, that very same pace permits him to be spectacular in pursuit downfield. Along with his pace, the Georgia linebacker demonstrates strong pursuit angles when chasing his man downfield. Though he primarily makes use of these talents dangerously in run protection, Dean has additionally confirmed to be a risk as a move rusher off the sting.
In move protection, his athletic capacity permits him to remain comparatively sticky in man schemes. It permits him to make up floor shortly and make a play to restrict yardage.
Areas for enchancment
At 6’0″ and 225 kilos, Dean received’t be the tallest or heaviest linebacker within the 2022 NFL Draft. He doesn’t seem to have the body so as to add far more muscle mass, both. Thus, that is unlikely an space the place he can enhance.
In consequence, Dean usually struggles to impression the sport when blitzing inside. There have been too many examples of him being stonewalled by offensive linemen when making an attempt to get to the backfield from the inside.
Though Dean has demonstrated glorious soccer instincts as a run defender, his studying of the passing sport requires some enchancment. For example, he may be drawn in by play fakes. And regardless of exhibiting stellar play pace, he doesn’t possess the elite change of course capacity to get better from a misinterpret play.
Dean’s Participant Profile
Highschool athletes like Dean don’t come round too usually. Throughout his time at Horn Lake, the multi-talented standout shined on the diamond, hardwood, and observe. Though he was a gifted baseball and basketball participant, he was a phenom on the soccer area. Dean compiled a mind-blowing 438 tackles, 61.5 tackles for loss, 18 sacks, and 6 interceptions throughout his highschool profession. Not content material with dominating on protection, the Horn Lake linebacker additionally rushed for 9 touchdowns.
In his senior season, Dean helped Horn Lake obtain an unbeaten season and led them to their first-ever MHSAA Class 6A title. Unsurprisingly, his manufacturing and management earned him appreciable accolades — too many to enumerate in a scouting report. These accomplishments have been headlined by the 2018 Excessive Faculty Butkus Award because the nation’s prime linebacker. Moreover, Dean was invited to the 2019 Beneath Armour All-American Sport.
Effervescent underneath the outer shell of his excellent highschool profession was a wild recruiting experience. A five-star prospect and a top-20 total participant within the 2019 recruiting class, Dean attracted over 40 faculty provides. Though Georgia and his in-state group Ole Miss have been the primary to make their curiosity official, the proficient linebacker additionally took visits to Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and Texas A&M.
In a choice that went all the way down to the wire and seemed to be trending in direction of Ole Miss, Dean introduced his dedication to the Bulldogs on Nationwide Signing Day. When requested about the primary issue behind his vacation spot, Dean replied: “Growth on and off the sphere, academically and athletically.”
Dean’s profession at Georgia
With a repute for being an insane highschool athlete, it didn’t seem like Dean wanted an excessive amount of athletic refinement. Nevertheless, inside linebacker isn’t usually a place the place a real freshman can are available in and make a right away and dominant impression.
Regardless of this, Dean performed in 14 video games through the 2019 season. In his debut in opposition to Murray State, he contributed his first deal with for loss, whereas simply three video games later, he had a standout sport in opposition to Kentucky. The younger linebacker led his extra skilled teammates with 6 tackles within the win over the Wildcats. Moreover, he secured his first profession pressured fumble, flexing his capacity to be disruptive.
Dean earned a share of the group’s Defensive Newcomer of the Yr Award as a real freshman after registering 25 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 1 pressured fumble. He additionally added move breakups in opposition to Georgia Tech and LSU to flash some moxie in move protection.
Dean takes a step up in his sophomore season
Though he’d been strong in 2019, there was an expectation from Georgia followers that the Mississippi native would take a step up as a sophomore. Dean didn’t disappoint. Making 10 begins and taking part in 76% of the group’s defensive snaps, he led the group with 71 tackles and 13 quarterback pressures.
A tackling machine in highschool, Dean replicated that capacity with a three-game stretch the place he registered double-digit deal with numbers. Amid that stretch, he set a brand new career-high of 15 tackles in opposition to Florida. Within the sport previous that span, he secured his first profession sack in opposition to Alabama. Two years after being named the Excessive Faculty Butkus Award winner, his sophomore performances noticed him named a semifinalist for the faculty equal.
With Monty Rice departed to the NFL Draft, Dean will likely be anticipated to take a step up this season. Though the Georgia linebacker missed spring observe following surgical procedure to restore a torn labrum, he ought to be totally match for the beginning of his junior marketing campaign. If he leads the group in tackles once more this fall and might flip a few of his pressures into manufacturing, Dean may elevate his 2022 NFL Draft inventory.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft Analyst for Pro Soccer Community. You’ll be able to comply with him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.