Nakobe Dean draws attention as best available pick following surprise fall out of first round
Nakobe Dean was expected to be a first-round pick at linebacker, and even one of the first Georgia players off the board. As the first round of the NFL draft went on Thursday night, Dean being passed over by team after team became a growing story.
Even teammates like Devonte Wyatt and Lewis Cine being drafted before him was an eye opener to many. It wasn’t just that Dean was viewed as a first-round selection, it’s that he was at least in the top 30 picks. So 19 teams passing on him over 32 picks was one of the biggest surprises of the night.
Some of the explanation was that Dean had some growing red flags in the minds of talent evaluators. For example, he has a bit of a small frame for his position at 5-foot-11, and his 31-inch arms were viewed as a concern. He also didn’t run the 40-yard dash because of a pectoral strain he suffered during draft training.
Here’s a sampling of the reaction to Dean’s fall:
31 Teams going to have a problem on their hands when @NakobeDean gets wherever he is going!!
— Glenn Schumann (@CoachSchuUGA) April 29, 2022
NFL GM’s to Nakobe Dean right now: pic.twitter.com/bnq53NiDdb
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) April 29, 2022
The fact that UGA had 5 1st round picks and Nakobe Dean is still on the board is insane. Jalen Carter and Kelee Ringo will be 1s next year.
Further cements last years defense an all-time great unit.
— Greg McElroy (@GregMcElroy) April 29, 2022
Tonight is Part 1 of the Nakobe Dean 30 for 30 @NakobeDean
— Russillo (@ryenarussillo) April 28, 2022
Quay Walker being picked before Nakobe Dean makes no sense to me
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) April 29, 2022
Nakobe Dean will make these people eat their words. He will be this year’s Nick Chubb.
Driven by the desire to prove everyone wrong, he will be AMAZING.
— Annie (@UGAAnnie) April 29, 2022
Four Georgia defensive players picked this far. And they’re all studs. But I cannot believe Nakobe Dean is still sitting in the green room.
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) April 29, 2022
Really it should’ve been 6 Dawgs in the first round. You can’t convince me there are 32 more valuable players than Nakobe Dean in this draft
— UGA Spike Squad (@UGASPIKESQUAD) April 29, 2022