Eagles second-year linebacker Nakobe Dean will the starting MIKE linebacker and will wear the green dot on his helmet, signaling his role as the on-field point man for the defense.
It’s a big responsibility. And one the Eagles are entrusting to Dean who hasn’t really played much yet at the NFL level.
The middle linebacker job was destined to be Dean’s and now he gets to prove to everyone that he deserves it.
“I’m proud of him,” second-year safety Reed Blankenship said. “Me and him, we’re pretty close friends. Just knowing him and knowing his work ethic and knowing his leadership role that he’s going to have to take, it feels really good to see him out there working.
Last season was Dean’s rookie year. He played a grand total of 34 snaps on defense. His role was a special teamer last year and he embraced it.
The Eagles used a third-round pick (No. 83 overall) on Dean last year out of Georgia. It was a bit of a fall for Dean in the draft. He was projected to go much higher.
There were reportedly some concerns about his health and his size. He’s listed at 5-foot-11, 231 pounds, which is a bit undersized even in today’s game.
A big part of playing the MIKE linebacker and having the green dot is the ability to communicate. It’s something Dean did very well at Georgia.
A lot of the Eagles defensive in 2023 will be on Dean’s shoulders. I believe that he will thrive in this role.
“He has a chip on his shoulder,” Jordan Davis said. “He always talks about it. And that’s what drives him. And just seeing him get his opportunity and for us to have an opportunity to play together, to be on the field at the same time, that’s amazing.”
Eagles LB Nakobe Dean. Photo courtsey of Eagles Wire