PFF’s Monson: Eagles LB Nakobe Dean ‘Should be Feature Heavily’
They played their starters sparingly, but we did get a chance to see some of the younger players and guys who were battling for playing time.
One player who took advantage was linebacker Kakobe Dean, the third-round pick from Georgia, who was ranked by many as the top linebacker in the draft class. Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson named Dean in picking a takeaway from Philadelphia’s three preseason games, as a player who should be featured heavily as a rookie.
Nakobe Dean could prove to be one of the best value picks of the 2022 NFL Draft. The best player on one of the best college defenses of all time, Dean slipped to the third round of the draft due to some combination of concern about injuries, lack of size and relatively average measurables. He played 62 defensive snaps across three preseason games and was one of the best-graded players on the team. Linebacker has become a difficult position to succeed at early, but Dean looks well capable of it and would upgrade what's been a long-term problem spot for the Eagles.
Dean flashed in the teams first preseason game, making five total tackles on 24 snaps against the Jets.
Currently in front of Dean on the depth chart is Kyzir White and T.J. Edwards. Fourth-year pro Edwards, who was a tackling machine at Wisconsin, has 211 tackles since entering the league in 2019, has earned the trust of Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. White was signed in the offseason from the Chargers, had a breakout 2021, making 144 tackles and two interceptions for Los Angeles.
It could take an injury to one of those two linebackers in front of Dean for the rookie to make a big impact this season, b ut if and when he steps on the field, it might be tough to get him off of it.
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