PHILADELPHIA – For all the hours spent filming, interviewing and scouring across the country looking for prospects and information that would lead to the NFL draft, there was nothing more rewarding than the fact that the PHILADELPHIA Philadelphia EaglesI have been very simple the past two years when it comes to the clock, particularly Day 1 and Day 2.
They picked the receiver DeVonta SmithLineman offensive Landon DickersonFrom the national champion Alabama Crimson TideWith their first two picks from last year. They were able to land on the top-ranked picks this time. Georgia BulldogsTwo players were taken from their dominant defense for defensive tackle Jordan Davis(13th overall) Linebacker Nakobe Dean (83rd overall).
“Experience is a wonderful teacher. Sometimes it is not so difficult. “It kind of works. Great players, great school. High recruits.
“These guys understand what it takes and I believe that the NFL season is a roller-coaster ride. It's the ups as well as the downs. When you have guys who are willing to help you get back up when you're feeling down, and champions that know how to overcome adversity and raise everyone's level, that's what team's all about. … So, yeah, it's intentional. To win, it's an intentional decision.
Davis and Dean are able to make an immediate impact, just like Smith and Dickerson as rookies. They also have the potential to transform the Eagles defense over time.
As he integrates more 3-4 principles into the defense system, Davis (6-foot-6 and 341 pounds) is the strong, block-absorbing presence Jonathan Gannon has been searching for. Opposing teams avoided running at Davis, averaging 8.1 rushes per game up the middle against Georgia — the lowest in the FBS, according to ESPN Stats & Information. His 4.78 time in the 40-yard sprint at the NFL Combine at 341 pounds, which was the fastest 40-yard run by any player over 325 lbs since at least 2006., shows that he has the talent to do more than just run-stuffer.
“Man, I'm excited to see big boy because he will be taking two or three people along with him hopefully and taking a lot of us off our feet,” declared defensive end Brandon Graham.
Dean, the 2021 Butkus Award recipient and Associated Press First-Team All-America selection, knows better. Linebackers are the greatest beneficiaries. He was second behind Davis and posted 72 tackles (10.5 per loss), six sacks, and two interceptions for Georgia. The defense is the No. 1 in the country.
This is his chance to be the greatest draft steal. ESPN's Draft Day Predictor showed that Dean was just 2% likely to make it to No. 83. The slide was largely due to medical concerns regarding Dean's pectoral muscle and his knee. Roseman however did not agree with these concerns and said Dean would be there when rookie camp starts this weekend.
Dean explained, “That was nerve-wracking about it all — you know listening to things I don't believe and it costs me a lot.” “And just seeing my mama’s face, and for me falling and to hear things like that, that was just the biggest thing. But at the end of the day, I’m blessed. I feel like I was selected by a great organisation and I'm now ready to go to work.
In the first moments of Dean's landing, the Eagles' brass couldn't hide their excitement. Sirianni even encouraged the media to be more energetic as he entered the NovaCare practice facility auditorium, asking: “Do you know the person we just picked?”
We are looking for strong-character men. We're looking for men who love football. We're looking for tough guys. We're looking for men with high football IQ. We are looking for guys with high football IQ. [we are looking for guys that are]Competitor, that's not the last. Sirianni stated that he checks all of these boxes. He's a leader in the field for Georgia. His football intelligence is extremely high. His instincts and IQ are amazing.”
Since Jeremiah Trotter 2005, the Eagles didn't have an inside linebacker make it to Pro Bowl. Dean will try to change that. Dean will be trying to give a boost to a linebacking group that had struggled last season in both the passing and linebacking games. Per ESPN Stats & Info, Philadelphia's defense allowed a 77% completion percentage and 14 pass TDs on tight end targets last season, both the highest in the league.
Both players have much to prove. Davis has to demonstrate he's more than just a two-down lineman after being on the field for 38% of Georgia’s defensive snaps in 2021, and Dean has to show that questions about his health and size (5-foot-11, 229 pounds) are misguided.
This is not the time to pour the champagne and declare these picks a success. An evaluation of what Dean and Davis did at the highest level in college football suggests that the odds favor the Eagles.
“[Personnel evaluators]Roseman stated that Georgia allows them to spend the entire fall down there. “You go to practice, you go to a game, you go visit that facility, and you're just going, ‘Shoot, I'll draft this whole team.’
“It's a credit to their program, and what they have accomplished.”