Fresh off of a National Championship win in the College Football Playoff, Nakobe Dean has declared for the 2022 NFL Draft. The star linebacker is considered to be a first round draft pick, but we have him ranked much higher. In fact, I believe that he’s a top fifteen prospect in this draft class. In this 2022 NFL Draft scouting report, we’ll breakdown what makes Nakobe Dean so special, along with a predicted 40 time, injury history, and complete scouting report.
Nakobe Dean 40 Time
Nakobe Dean should run a 4.51 or better at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine in March. In fact, it’s quite possible that he could run in the 4.4 range. If this is the case, his 40 time would be well above the NFL average for the linebacker position. Furthermore, a 40 time in the 4.4 range would be on par with those run by wide receivers and defensive backs.
Nakobe Dean Injury History
Nakobe Dean suffered a torn labrum during the 2020 season, which he had surgically repaired. He missed the 2021 spring practice, but was ready to go for the season opener. Dean has played no less than 10 games per season for Georgia, so durability shouldn’t be an issue for scouts during the medical evaluation process at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
Nakobe Dean Scouting Report
- Tremendous Quickness Off The Edge As A Pass Rusher
- Tracks The Ball Well At The Line Of Scrimmage
- Excellent Tackle Range At Point Of attack
- Poor Contact Balance When Penetrating Inside
- Struggles To Shed Blocks In Space
- Lacks Ability To Finish Versus Bigger Linemen
Nakobe Dean is a three-year contributor for the University of Georgia Bulldogs. He typically plays the inside linebacker position, although he has experience rushing off the edge as well. He has solid height, but is slightly underweight when compared to the league average for the linebacker position. However, his predicted 40 time of 4.51 is well above the league average. In fact, it’s more in line with those from cornerbacks or wide receivers.
Dean has good patience at the line of scrimmage to let plays develop before rushing the passer when playing from the inside linebacker position. He does a great job of tracking the ball on outside runs and displays a good tackle range when he attacks the ball. When dropping into coverage, he has elite acceleration to stay within range of tight ends and slot receivers. Furthermore, I believe that he’s capable of covering some receivers on intermediate and deep routes along the sidelines. Nakobe Dean has experience rushing the passer from the edge position, where he shows good quickness to beat the offensive lineman or tight end.
When Nakobe Dean is rushing the passer from the second-level, he has adequate contact balance once he’s inside the pocket. He might struggle against some of the league’s best interior offensive linemen. He doesn’t possess a polished utility belt that most edge rushers have, although that could come about with NFL coaching. When out in space, Dean can struggle to shed blocks in the open space. I’d like to see him add bulk to his frame as he enters the NFL as he’ll likely struggle to impose his will against offensive linemen and some elite blocking tight ends.
Nakobe Dean NFL Draft Projection
Ultimately, I have a top fifteen grade on Nakobe Dean. I have him ranked just slightly behind Utah LB Devin Lloyd. However, I believe that Nakobe Dean might be the better prospect as both near the end of their first contract. Look for Dean to play the inside linebacker position in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. However, 3-4 might be a more natural scheme for him so that defensive coordinators can utilize his abilities as an outside linebacker. Potential fits could be the Philadelphia Eagles or Los Angeles Chargers, although I also believe that the Denver Broncos are a potential destination with the ninth overall pick.