Time flies huh? It seems like we were just hanging around on New Year’s Eve and watching the ball drop to turn the page from 2021 to 2022, and now look at us. The 4th of July is in our rear-view mirrors. That means, before long, we’ll be talking about another Philadelphia Eagles training camp and all of the talent they’ve added to the roster. What a ride it’s been.
Sure, we could talk about any of these guys for hours. We could discuss the best offseason moves or the biggest surprises’ and do so for hours, but when the dust clears and the smoke settles, is there a better story than seeing Nakobe Dean taken in Round 3 of the most recent NFL Draft?
Please don’t read what hasn’t been written and hear what hasn’t been stated. Trading for A.J. Brown was a game-changer for the offense. Acquiring James Bradberry after his release from the New York Giants for what feels like the NFL equivalent of ‘pennies on the dollar’ didn’t seem like a reality back in February. We all saw it happen though!
Recently, our friends over at NFL Spin Zone discussed Philadelphia’s best offseason moves, as you might imagine, James and A.J. both earned mentions, as did the decision to write Nakobe Dean’s name down on a draft card. As much as the former moves gave Eagles Nation a much-needed shot in the arm, that draft-day heist gave us an adrenaline rush that we still haven’t calmed down from yet.
The Eagles’ addition of Nakobe Dean and the lateness in which he was acquired still gives us goosebumps when we think about it.
The resume is enough to turn heads. During the Georgia Bulldogs’ magic carpet ride to conquering the Alabama Crimson Tide and achieving championship glory, Nakobe Dean stacked 72 tackles. That includes 36 of the solo variety and 10.5 that resulted in a loss of yardage. We could stop there, but we’ll continue.
Dean also racked six sacks, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and one trip to the end zone on defense en route to the Butkus Award and a Unanimous All-American nod in 2021. Ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft, there were Birds fans that wanted Philly to use one of those first-round draft picks on him.
They elected instead to take Jordan Davis with one of them and trade the other to the Tennessee Titans, along with a third-rounder to acquire A.J. Brown. Both moves were understandable but had Philly gone with Dean, that would have been satisfactory for a lot of people.
Day two came, and much of Eagles Nation, while seeing that Dean was still available in Round 2, would have been ready to classify his addition in Round 2 as a steal. Philadelphia drafted Cam Jurgens who we assume will take over for Jason Kelce instead. You can see where this is headed right?
Dean, a man who clearly had first-round talent, was Philadelphia’s choice with the 83rd-overall selection during Round 3. They had to feel like they had just won the lottery. If they didn’t, that was definitely the sentiment of Birds fans all over the Delaware Valley and everywhere else on the Planet.
Sure, camp hasn’t arrived, and Nakobe hasn’t played a down of football yet. Come on though. If landing him in Round 2 would have been a steal, what do we call this? Why wouldn’t we be excited?
As much as we’d like to give stoic theory like ‘we’ll see in camp; and ‘let’s wait until the regular season’, you are hereby ordered to allow yourselves a chance to be excited. There have been questions about Nakobe Dean, and here’s one of them.
What if Dean’s success at the collegiate level doesn’t translate to the pro game. Perhaps you should be asking yourselves another question. What if that’s exactly what happens? Never doubt a man playing with a boulder-sized chip on his shoulder.