3. Nakobe Dean, LB
For quite some time, it seemed as if Nakobe Dean was going to be a first-round selection. Another UGA product, Dean was all over the field for the Bulldogs and finished his three-year career with 168 tackles and 7.5 sacks. The majority of that damage was done during his final two seasons as he established himself as one of the leaders on a defense full of NFL talent.
Despite his collegiate success, Dean lasted until the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft where the Eagles landed him as the 83rd overall selection. There were apparently concerns over his size as well as a lingering pectoral injury that led to his slide but he still brought a lot of potential. As a rookie, he managed just 34 snaps on base defense and was primarily a special teams contributor.
Then in 2023, he was unable to do much more thanks to a foot injury suffered in Week 1. He was able to return from the IR but a lisfranc injury put a halt to his sophomore campaign with just 30 tackles in five games.
Dean, to his credit, had shown a lot of growth on the field when he was healthy. He made an impact and had the Eagles hopeful that he could become the linebacker they envisioned. Now, however, he’s going to be starting over with his third defensive coordinator in as many seasons. Throw in the injury he’s recovering from and this could be a tough season for No. 17.