About half a dozen players on the Eagles face some real pressure in 2023, and Nakobe Dean leads the list.
Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman let T.J. Edwards (Bears) and Kyzir White (Cardinals) walk in free agency, expecting the former Georgia All-American to step up in a critical role at the linebacker position under new defensive coordinator Sean Desai.
Dean is under pressure, and according to CBS Sports, he’s one of seven players that made a list of breakout candidates.
It looked like the Eagles got a steal in Dean with him being selected in the third round, but that remains to be seen. He didn’t play a major role in his rookie season due to Kyzir White and T.J. Edwards, but both are on different teams now. Dean recorded just 13 combined tackles and one tackle for loss in 2022, but may be Philly’s starting middle linebacker this season.
He’s a smaller player, but Dean shined in arguably the best defense in college football history at Georgia. He is a smart player who can both play downhill and hold his own in coverage. Dean could be a three-down playmaking linebacker in 2023. Also, it doesn’t hurt that he’s working with so many former college teammates either.
Dean saw action in all 17 games last season, finishing with six total tackles (5 solos) in a reserve role.
Dean ranked T-2nd on the team with seven special teams tackles, and he’ll now look to take the next steps as a downhill run stopper capable of making plays in space when forced into pass coverage.