Mon, 27 Jun 2022

Eagles sign Nakobe Dean to his rookie contract

Philadelphia Eagles
17 May 2022, 19:12 GMT+10

PhiladelphiaEagles.com

The Eagles announced on Monday that third-round pick Nakobe Dean signed his four-year rookie contract. Dean is the fourth of five draft picks to sign, joining first-round pick Jordan Davis, and sixth-round picks linebacker Kyron Johnson and tight end Grant Calcaterra.

Here's what you need to know about the 5-foot-11, 231-pound Dean, who is a 21-year-old linebacker out of Georgia.

• Dean recorded 168 tackles over three seasons at Georgia, adding three forced fumbles, 7.5 sacks, and two interceptions. He was a captain for the record-setting Bulldogs defense in 2021, finishing as a unanimous All-American and winning the Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker. He started all 15 games for the National Champions and suited up for all 39 games of his college career.

"We are looking for high character guys. We are looking for guys that love football. We are looking for guys that are tough. We are looking for guys that have high football IQ. And (we are looking for guys that are) competitive, that's the last one. He checks every one of those boxes, Head Coach Nick Sirianni said. "He's a leader on the field for Georgia. His football IQ is so high. His instincts are so high."

• Dean has a playing style that wins - he's fast, he's physical, and he is relentless. Dean was able to play that way at Georgia in part because he took the classroom - watching film as well as gaining a 3.55 GPA in mechanical engineering - very seriously.

"I feel like for the most part, me studying, the studying aspect of what I have to do off the field translates to me in a football sense, having to put in the hours and hours to watch the film to make sure I'm going watch the film until I feel like I'm ready is never a set time," Dean said. "It's always you're going to watch the film and you're going to work until you feel like you're ready as far as the playbook, you know, I'm ready to dive into it. I feel like that helps me the most."

• A leader for the Georgia defense, Dean was a starter during his sophomore and junior seasons before opting to forgo his senior year and enter the NFL Draft. He led the Bulldogs in tackles in 2020 as the middle linebacker in Georgia's 3-4 base scheme. In the Bulldogs' national semifinal win over Michigan in the Orange Bowl, Dean racked up a team-high five solo tackles, including two tackles for a loss and a sack.

"I'm not the biggest rah-rah guy. I'm going to say what's on my mind or whatever gets the job done," Dean said. "At the end of the day, I feel like the only thing that matters is winning games. It's the only thing that matters. I feel whatever we got to do to win games is what I'm for."

• The 21-year-old is a native of Horn Lake, Mississippi, located 20 miles outside of Memphis. He was a five-star recruit out of Horn Lake High School, ranked as the No. 2 linebacker in the country and the No. 1 player in the state of Mississippi out of the 2019 class. He received offers from every single SEC school.

• Dean started all four years of high school and led Horn Lake to a 15-0 record and Class 6A state title as a senior. It was the first state title in the school's history. After recording 147 tackles as a junior, Dean finished his senior season with 175 tackles, 26 for loss, while picking up seven sacks, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles. He won the high school classification of the Butkus Award in 2018.

• Dean comes from an athletic household, one of three children raised by his mother, Neketta. His older brother, Nikolas, played a season at Ole Miss as a tight end in 2018. A multi-sport athlete, Nakobe also played baseball, basketball, and track at Horn Lake. He played on both sides of the ball in high school, scoring nine touchdowns as a running back. He was named the Mississippi's Mr. Football and Gatorade Player of the Year in 2018.

Monday marks the rookies' first day to work with the veterans as Phase 2 of the offseason program begins for the Eagles. Per the league, the Eagles can now conduct on-field workouts that may include individual or group instruction and drills, as well as "perfect play drills," and drills and plays with offensive players lining up across from offensive players and defensive players lining up across from defensive players, conducted at a walkthrough pace.

No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted during Phase 2.

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