Georgia's Nakobe Dean Declares for 2022 NFL Draft After CFP Title Win vs. Alabama

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 14, 2022

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 30: Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Nakobe Dean (17) during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators on October 30, 2021 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean announced Friday on Instagram that he is forgoing his senior season and declaring for the 2022 NFL draft.

Seth Emerson @SethWEmerson

News: Nakobe Dean declares for the NFL draft. <a href="https://t.co/MtqsLk1tx7">pic.twitter.com/MtqsLk1tx7</a>

The B/R NFL Scouting Department ranks Dean as the No. 1 linebacker and No. 21 overall prospect in the 2022 draft class. The group's latest mock draft before Monday's College Football Playoff title game had Dean going 16th overall to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Pro Football Focus thinks highly of his work, too:

PFF College Football @PFF_College

Highest-graded box players in 2021 💥<br><br>1. Nakobe Dean, Georgia (91.9)<br>2. Leo Chenal, Wisconsin (91.3)<br>3. Chad Muma, Wyoming (91.3)<br>4. Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin (90.0)<br>5. Devin Lloyd, Utah (88.7) <a href="https://t.co/XYaDGKIdDp">pic.twitter.com/XYaDGKIdDp</a>

PFF College Football @PFF_College

Complete list of LBs since 2014 to earn 90+ pass-rush AND coverage grades:<br><br>1. Nakobe Dean 2021 <a href="https://t.co/bp3SvjcFeY">pic.twitter.com/bp3SvjcFeY</a>

His leadership and intangibles are also big plusses.

Ian Cummings @ian_cummings_9

Nakobe Dean will be a true leader of a defense at the next level. Not just a playmaker, but has an attitude that permeates to others. <a href="https://t.co/HpVJF9gCBS">https://t.co/HpVJF9gCBS</a>

ESPN College Football @ESPNCFB

From providing food to the homeless, to street cleanups and more, Georgia LB Nakobe Dean, with the help of his mother, has made it a priority to give back to Athens and his hometown of Horn Lake, MS.<br><br>“Giving back has always been something near and dear to me.”<a href="https://twitter.com/sportsiren?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sportsiren</a> <a href="https://t.co/YU4wwIM4rA">pic.twitter.com/YU4wwIM4rA</a>

Dean helped lead a Georgia defense that allowed a Division I FBS-best 10.2 points per game this past season. He finished the year with 72 tackles (36 solo), six sacks, five pass breakups and two interceptions.

The star linebacker shouldn't wait too long to hear his name called. The Eagles in particular have a need for playmaking linebackers who can rush the passer, and they currently own the 15th, 16th and 19th overall selections.

Dean wasn't the only Georgia player to declare for the draft Friday, as wideout George Pickens announced his intentions to go pro as well.