One of the biggest surprises in the 2022 NFL Draft was Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean sliding into to the third round. He was eventually selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 83rd overall pick.
According to multiple reports, Dean's stock fell because of pectoral and knee injuries. However, he claims those injuries are minor and won't affect his ability to make an impact for the Eagles this year.
“I’m healthy,” Dean said, via ProFootballTalk. “I’m ready to go. I know minicamp is next week and I expect to be a full participant for that. Why I dropped? It’s not in my control. Nothing I can do. Nothing I could do to make them pick me earlier. I’m grateful and blessed I have this opportunity.”
Dean also addressed the rumors stating he won't play this year because he needs surgery to correct his pectoral injury.
“Things that were not true cost me a lot of money,” he told reporters. “That was the thing that was so surprising and mind-boggling. It was never, I went to doctors, got second opinions and everything, and nobody — nobody — said I should have surgery. Nobody had told me I had to have surgery. So, for that to come up and for teams to be saying that and waiting until the day of the draft to say something like that, that was kind of crazy to me."
It's unfortunate that Dean fell all the way to the third round. In his final season at Georgia, he had 72 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, five pass breakups, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Dean could, in theory, end up being the biggest steal of the draft. It's a bit too early for that conversation though.