Nakobe Dean is college football’s top linebacker for a reason. Would he be a fit for the Houston Texans?
Nakobe Deans’ accomplishments might as well be in gold like the National Championship he and his Georgia Bulldog teammates won over Alabama roughly two weeks ago. The 2021 Butkus award winner for the nation’s top linebacker has also been named a First Team All-American by eight different groups.
According to PFF, the Horn Lake, Mississippi native, had one of the best years ever, where his pass rush and coverage grades were both over 90. A mechanical engineering major, Dean has the brawn and the brains. So what makes Dean the top guy at the position?
- Able to take angles better than anyone else
- Ability to shed blocks in the open field result in stopping plays before they begin
- A master of timing up the snap count to jump past blockers in the blink of an eye
Negatives/ areas to improve upon
- Backfield tackling
- Needs to wrap up harder once past the heel line of the offense
- Dean’s “Rip” move needs to be improved
- Gets taken out of rushes when OL can combat this
- Some scouts are saying Dean is too small to play the position (6’0″,225)
How would Nakobe Dean improve the Houston Texans?
Let’s start with this, Deans’ tracking ability puts him into the right spots to take down running backs. The problem is once Dean is behind the offensive line, running backs seem to escape Deans’ clutches by Deans’ lack of wrapping up.
This is problematic when the Texans play in the AFC South, which boasts a murderer’s row of runners such as Derrick Henry, Jonathon Taylor, and James Robinson (and potentially Travis Etienne when healthy).
Dean would probably need some backside help from his defensive tackles to ensure that Dean and that the running back meet in the only gap. Then Dean can bring him down.
In the passing game, Dean only had two career interceptions (both this year). So he isn’t your ball-hawking linebacker, but he’ll make a play here and there.
Overall, having a cerebral leader of the defense is a hard thing to pass up, and Dean could be an instant leader for the Houston Texans if they decide to go with him with the third overall pick.