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2022 NFL Draft Profile: Nakobe Dean

Nakobe Dean, OLB, Georgia Bulldogs, 2022 NFL Draft

Dean is a rangy playmaker who should bring pound-for-pound toughness to the middle of an NFL defense

A critical part of a national championship-winning defense, Nakobe Dean will be a sought-after linebacker in the 2022 NFL Draft. Not only is Dean capable of impacting a game in a myriad of ways, but his football IQ and leadership also could help him become the quarterback of his team's defense in the future.

(This profile is one of 230 featured in the Athlon Sports 2022 NFL Draft Guide. With in-depth scouting reports on the top prospects, position rankings, and more, no source will have you better prepared for draft day. Purchase a copy online today, the digital edition for instant access, or look for it on newsstands everywhere.)

Nakobe Dean Draft Profile

College: Georgia
Class: Jr.
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 225

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Strong Points

The heart of Georgia’s national championship defense, Dean is a rangy playmaker who brings pound-for-pound toughness to the middle of a defense. He made huge strides over his three seasons and last year became a more aggressive downfield defender, recognizing opportunities to fire into gaps and blow up plays. He brings legitimate sideline-to-sideline range and locates the ball effectively, and his instincts and quickness allow him to evade blocks and get to where he needs to be. He’s a twitched-up, violent tackler when he gets to the ball, and he breaks down well in space, rarely letting a ball carrier slip away. In coverage, he has the speed and fluid athleticism to guard tight ends, though he’s outstanding in zone coverage, reading the quarterback and getting into throwing lanes. He flashed as a blitzer last season more than ever, coming late and closing fast. He was responsible for getting his defense aligned, a role he’ll be able to handle in the pros; his football IQ and football character are outstanding.

Weak Points

He’s undersized, an issue that won’t improve. Dean’s lack of length limits his ability to take on blocks; he has to run around blockers rather than through them. The lack of size could also show up in coverage against bigger tight ends, who will be able to overwhelm him at the catch point.

Summary

His size limits him to the weak side for teams that use an even front in order to keep him covered up, but as long as he’s kept clean, Dean can impact the game as a run defender, in coverage and as a blitzer, while essentially captaining the defense.

Final Grade: 1st Round

YearGTTFL-YDSSCKS-YDSQBHFF-FRINT-YDSPBU

2019

14

25

1.5-4

0.0-0

1

1-0

0-0

2

2020

10

71

1.5-9

1.5-9

4

0-0

0-0

0

2021

15

72

10.5-65

6.0-51

5

2-0

2-50

6

Career

39

168

13.5-78

7.5-60

10

3-0

2-50

8

Athlon Sports 2022 NFL Draft Guide

The most complete guide to the 2022 NFL Draft is now available at newsstands everywhere or for purchase online!