Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean declares for 2022 NFL Draft

Georgia football-Nakobe Dean-2022 NFL Draft
1/10/22 - Indianapolis - Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Nakobe Dean (17) appeared to score on a recovered fumble that was ruled an incomplete pass after review in the first quarter at the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Monday, January 10, 2022. Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com

A third Bulldog has declared for the 2022 NFL Draft on Friday, as linebacker Nakobe Dean joins Zamir White and Lewis Cine in doing so.

Dean won the Butkus Award, which is given to the nation’s top linebacker. He is expected to be a top draft pick in this year’s draft, with some projecting him to go in the top 10.

Dean made his announcement via his Instagram.

Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean declared for the NFL draft.
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Dean signed with Georgia out of Horn Lake, Miss., in the 2019 recruiting class. He emerged as an early contributor before becoming a starter for the Bulldogs in each of the last two seasons.

There was not a better linebacker in college football this season, with Dean leading the naiton’s top scoring defense. He finished with 72 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

The junior linebacker was also one of Georgia’s captains and was the captain of the AFCA All-hands team, which recognizes work down in the community.

“For me, the whole reason why I came to Georgia, other than all the academics and the maturing and everything else, was to win a National Championship, and I knew we could build into it,” Dean said. “That was one of the biggest reasons for us to come to this like surreal moment.”

Georgia is also set to lose senior linebackers Channing Tindall and Quay Walker, as they had previously accepted Senior Bowl invites. The three were perhaps the best part of Georgia’s defense this season.

Dean will join a long line of great Georgia linebacker in the NFL, with Roquan Smith, Tae Crowder and Monty Rice. Like Smith, Dean is likely to be taken in the top half of the first round.

In terms of replacing Dean, and thus Walker and Tindall, Georgia will turn to the likes of Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Smeal Mondon and Xavian Sorey. All three were 2021 signees, with each making a handful of plays this year as backups this year. Georgia will also get contributions from healthier versions of Trezmen Marshall and Rian Daivs.

The Bulldogs signed two off-ball linebackers in the 2022 recruiting class in 4-star prospects Jalon Walker and CJ Washington.

Georgia is still waiting on juniors such as Nolan Smith and Travon Walker to announce their NFL draft decisions as well. James Cook had previously announced he would be entering the NFL draft.

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