The Philadelphia Eagles finally select a star linebacker in Round 1.
Philadelphia will land a linebacker in Round 1 for the first time since they drafted UCLA’s Jerry Robinson in 1979 with the 21st overall pick. You really can’t go wrong with Devin Lloyd or Nakobe Dean at pick 19 among plenty of other talented options at other positions.
I’m going with Dean out of faith in the players that Kirby Smart’s defense produces. Some fans have started to question the decision to pass on Micah Parsons in the 2021 NFL Draft, hindsight being 20/20 of course. Parsons is an electric player and that is an understatement. I still feel the Eagles made an excellent pick.
That being said, the need for an athletic linebacker is evident. T.J. Edwards has earned a role with this team moving forward as a run stopper and improved in pass coverage but the need for speed is clear. Davion Taylor started putting things together before the injury but Dean ensures that the Birds have a surefire star linebacker who didn’t miss a game in the past two seasons.
At six-foot, 225-pounds, Dean is a true sideline-to-sideline backer who will carry crossers, be effective on the blitz, spy opposing quarterbacks, and cover the middle of the field. When he doesn’t see anyone in his zone he seeks depth and in the run game, he easily inserts into his gap for tackles in the backfield.
Despite his size, he can get off of blocks fairly well. His football IQ stands out the most and helps him to communicate with teammates to put them in the best position to succeed both pre-snap and post-snap. He opens up the playbook for defensive coordinators. Philadelphia knocks this pick out of the park if they select Dean.