Eagles Draft Bust Named 2024 Breakout Candidate 

The Philadelphia Eagles will hope that former third-round Nakobe Dean can stay healthy in 2024 after having his 2023 season derailed by injuries.
Miami Dolphins v Philadelphia Eagles
Miami Dolphins v Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Eagles were expecting former third-round pick Nakobe Dean to take a major step in his second year in the NFL last season. 

The 5-foot-11 linebacker was a core special teams player as a rookie in 2022. But with Philly not doing anything of note at the linebacker last offseason, it was the prime opportunity for Dean to show why he was one of the better linebackers at Georgia.

However, the 23-year-old linebacker was hindered by multiple foot injuries last season, playing in five games. 

Those injuries put Dean on injured reserve twice, with the latest IR stint happening in Week 9 against the Dallas Cowboys and effectively ending his sophomore season. The former Georgia linebacker had 30 combined tackles, two tackles for loss, a half sack, and played 53 percent of defensive snaps.

That said, all hope is not lost for the former third-round pick as he has a clean slate in 2024 to be an impactful player in Vic Fangio’s defense. Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay believes Dean is among the six players who could shed the bust label this coming season.

Kay pointed out how injuries have derailed Dean’s career. But Kay also said that with Dean’s back against the wall, he should show out, and answer the call.

"“Dean will get another chance at realizing his potential this coming season, but he must capitalize and show he can stay healthy. With his back to the wall, he should answer the call and show out, especially with esteemed defensive coordinator Vic Fangio taking over for Sean Desai in the City of Brotherly Love.”"

"“Expect Dean to emerge from training camp as the Eagles' starting off-ball linebacker again, but this time make a huge leap. He's been on the cusp of a breakout for some time and simply needs to stay on the field to reach his ceiling in 2024.”"

The Eagles made a few moves at the linebacker spot, signing Devin White, Zach Baun, and Oren Burks in free agency, and drafting Jeremiah Trotter Jr. in the fifth round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

White has the most talent out of all the linebackers listed. However, Dean isn’t far behind, he needs to stay healthy because it will take the Eagles’ defense to another level.

More Eagles news and analysis: