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Georgia LB Nakobe Dean declares for 2022 NFL draft, forgoing senior season

The linebacker is taking his talents to the NFL.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 10 CFP National Championship
Georgia Bulldogs ILB Nakobe Dean celebrates during the Alabama Crimson Tide versus the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship, on January 10, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Georgia Bulldogs will see another key member of their national championship team head to the 2022 NFL draft. Linebacker Nakobe Dean will forgo his senior season and enter the draft after having a strong year leading a vaunted Georgia defense.

Dean was the centerpiece of Georgia’s defense, racking up 72 total tackles and six sacks. He also had two forced fumbles and two interceptions this season for the Bulldogs, who had the nation’s best scoring defense prior to the SEC title game against Alabama. The Bulldogs got revenge in the national title game against the Crimson Tide, with Dean recording four tackles in the win.

At 6-0, 225 lbs, Dean has great size for the linebacker position. He seems like he can be an every-down player and has shown the ability to drop into coverage when needed. Dean is best at stopping the run and pressuring the quarterback, so it remains to be seen how analysts project him. He’s likely to be an early-round selection.