Philadelphia Eagles: Nakobe Dean is already carrying himself like a pro

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

It’s always fun to see which players make it out to Las Vegas Summer League to support their fellow athletes.

Will a superstar like LeBron James make it out to see the Summer Lakers? If so, will he bring his own snacks in a Ziploc bag? And what about disgruntled stars like, say, Russell Westbrook, will they make a statement by sitting with their current teammates, or will they make the opposite statement by sitting away from them, like on the opposite end of the gym away?

To their credit, the Philadelphia 76ers were very well represented at the Summer League too, with Matisse Thybulle, Tyrese Maxey, Sam Cassell, Georges Niang, Paul Reed, and Daryl Morey all showing love to their Summer League counterparts. While Joel Embiid and James Harden weren’t in attendance, at least not for Game 1 of the Vegas Summer League, the crew in attendance were very animated and cheered on Isaiah Joe and company vigorously, even if it didn’t ultimately result in a win.

But that quartet of players, plus a new coach and an exec for good measure, weren’t the only Philly athletes in attendance. No, Nakobe Dean, the Philadelphia Eagles‘ third round pick and presumed starting middle linebacker was in attendance too, supporting his adoptive city’s team despite having never played a game for the city’s professional football team. If that, my friends, isn’t the mark of a true franchise player, an institution of his adopted city, well, then I don’t know what is.

Nakobe Dean has all the making of a franchise player for the Philadelphia Eagles.

On the field, Nakobe Dean is darn good. He’s a field general who can get his troops lined up, a beast against the run, and a good enough zone defender to stay on the field regardless of down and distance.

But in the NFL, just being a good player isn’t enough; every NFL player is in an elite stratosphere of athleticism that few others can confidently claim. No, to be really good, especially at middle linebacker, a player needs to earn the trust of their teammates and galvanize the performers around them to play above their means.

Fortunately for the Philadelphia Eagles, it would appear Nakobe Dean has that aspect of the game down pat and possesses that leadership quality at a molecular level that elevates a player well above their 40s, injury history, or arm length.

While the Eagles have had defensive leaders in the not too distant past, Malcolm Jenkins comes to mind, they haven’t had a real, certified leader in the middle of their defense since probably DeMarco Ryan, who is now coordinating the defense of the San Francisco 49ers. If Dean can simply match Ryan’s abilities as a leader, his addition will be a home run, as no one is expecting anything but excellence from his game on the field.

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Who knows, maybe Nakobe Dean was at the Summer League completely by chance. Maybe he knows someone in the game, or there was another Georgia Bulldog appearing for the Toronto Raptors, the Philadelphia 76ers, or another team that he wanted to show love to. Or maybe Dean is already acting like a 10-year pro on the Philadelphia Eagles and showing love to his fellow Philly athletes. Personally, I’m rooting for the latter.