Eagles could get a massive 2024 boost from an unexpected source three years in the making

As long as Nakobe Dean doesn't give up on himself, we aren't going to give up on him either.

Nakobe Dean, Philadelphia Eagles
Nakobe Dean, Philadelphia Eagles / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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Guess what friends? Nakobe Dean is well aware of what you think of him. Nakobe Dean is well aware that many of you have given up on him. He knows many of you believe the Philadelphia Eagles gambled on him and lost. Though young, he's wise beyond his years and is fully aware that the City of Brotherly Love often places its sports teams and the guys that play for them under the microscope.

He knows of the 'out of sight and out of mind' nature that connects professional athletes and the fans who pay hard-earned money to attend a game or buy a jersey. Nakobe Dean is well aware of all of that. After two trips to Philly's injured reserve, though we have never asked him this, we feel confident saying that he knows many of you believe he's fragile and injury-prone.

Guess what? We still believe in him!

Here's a bold prediction. Nakobe Dean returns to the Philadelphia Eagles and enjoys a phenomenal season where he proves the doubters wrong.

Do not adjust your monitors on your PCs, Surface Tablets, Macbooks, and iPads. Don't worry about restarting your cellular devices. This is not a drill. You read the headline accurately. Nakobe Dean is going to be fine.

We haven't given up on him, and you shouldn't either. We're just as confident in him now as we have ever been. We can be quoted.

It has been almost two years since he was drafted. The coming Eagles season doubles as his third as a professional. We haven't seen much to verify what we're stating, so you can call this a hunch. We won't object, but this young man has too many people in his corner, former and current teammates and former and current coaches (and, he's been walking around with this boulder-sized chip on his shoulder).

If we're not mistaken, we may have asked Nakobe Dean this one time in passing. As a matter of fact, the exchange was so brief that he might not remember it. Then, we heard him say it again on another platform, so we feel we can state this without fear of misrepresentation of his feelings. The Philadelphia Eagles' young linebacker expected to be taken during Round 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft, so slipping into Round 3 and being taken 83rd overall refocused him in a way he hadn't been refocused before.

You see, prior to that, no one had questioned his ability on the gridiron before. He damn sure hadn't dealt with failure or being told he wasn't good enough. After all, after his senior season at Horn Lake High School, he won the High School Butkus Award and was named a five-star recruit. That led to his decision to commit to Georgia after receiving offers from Ole Miss and Alabama among other schools. Pledging allegiance to UGA was the best decision he could have made for himself.

That's where most of us were introduced to him and began following him. His Bulldogs won the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on January 10, 2022, capping a season where he was named a Butkus Award winner and a Unanimous All-American, and while that hasn't translated to his on-field success as a professional, we know damn well that guy is still inside of the guy wearing the Eagles' number 17 jersey.

So, let's take some inventory. In year one, he was a backup who was mostly relegated to special teams duty. In year two, he was given the green dot as the defensive signal caller, the quarterback of Philly's defensive unit if you will, but then, he got hurt (twice). Year three cometh, and you're confused as to where our confidence in him is coming from. It's okay! We get it!

The answer to your question is we don't have an answer. How's that for a cop-out? How's that for analysis? All we know is the Birds are still invested, he's still invested, and he's blessed with a tremendous IQ, both on the field and off.

Dean graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, and in 2022, he was named the Arthur Ashe Jr. Male Sports Scholar of the Year by Diverse. If he can conquer those hurdles, something tells us he can figure football out. As long as his body doesn't fail him, he can and will reward the Eagles for the confidence they placed in him, a confidence so many seem to have lost.

We're invested. As long as Nakobe doesn't give up on himself, we won't either.

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