2022 NFL Draft: Georgia LB Nakobe Dean declares after award-winning junior season with Bulldogs

Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean has declared for the 2022 NFL Draft following a standout three-year profession with the Bulldogs. Dean, the 2021 Butkus Award winner and projected high linebacker prospect within the draft, made his announcement on Friday on his Instagram web page. 

“I’d first prefer to thank God, for blessing me to have the ability to be on this place,” wrote Dean. “If it weren’t for Him, I’d not be right here right now. The previous three years on the College of Georgia have been nothing in need of wonderful and I’ll always remember the unwavering assist I’ve obtained from the best followers in faculty soccer.” 

Dean was one of many major catalysts for one of many best faculty soccer defenses in current reminiscence. The Lake Horn, Mississippi, native posted 72 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, 28 quarterback hurries, six go breakups and two interceptions in a monstrous remaining season. He posted 4 tackles and three quarterback hurries within the Bulldogs’ School Soccer Playoff Nationwide Championship victory over Alabama. 

The celebrated defender joins a wave of Georgia gamers who’ve introduced for the draft prior to now a number of days, together with working backs Zamir White and James Cook dinner, defensive finish Travon Walker, receiver George Pickens and cornerback Lewis Cine. The deadline for gamers to announce for the 2022 NFL Draft is Monday, Jan. 17. 

Historic profession

Dean turned simply the second Georgia linebacker to earn the Butkus Award, becoming a member of Bears All-Professional linebacker Roquan Smith. Whereas Georgia has recruited the linebacker place exceptionally nicely underneath coach Kirby Sensible, the Bulldogs have their work reduce out changing Dean’s 168 profession tackles and 13.5 tackles for loss. 

Behind Dean, Georgia listed true freshman and former five-star recruit Smael Mondon Jr. as subsequent in line on the center linebacker place. The Dallas, Georgia, native performed in all 15 video games in 2021 and earned 12 tackles. The Bulldogs are additionally anticipated to lose Quay Walker, Channing Tindall and Robert Beal at linebacker, making the place group one of many greatest questions on the protection heading into UGA’s title protection subsequent season. Fortunately, the absurd defensive entrance seven has traditionally been Georgia’s speciality. 

Draft projection

Dean got here into faculty as a consensus five-star recruit and the No. 2 inside linebacker in his class. He leaves because the No. 1 linebacker prospect and a contender to interrupt into the highest 10. 

The CBS Sports activities NFL Draft Prospect Rankings charges Dean because the No. 11 participant on the board and the No. 1 linebacker prospect. CBS Sports activities NFL Draft analyst Chris Trapasso tasks Dean to the Denver Broncos with the No. 9 decide in his newest mock draft, describing him as a “cerebral lightning bolt on the sector.” 

Listed at 6-foot and 225 kilos, Dean has the explosiveness each vertically and laterally to be an instantaneous contributor in any function or system within the NFL. 

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