The “Malik Willis to Washington” Mock Draft 1.0
Washington needs their MIKE linebacker of the future. They need a guy who is not only NFL-ready, but has that strong sense of leadership ability and versatility in his game, someone that can be the piece in the middle that elevates those around him.
After a stellar performance in the National Championship game, along with three straight seasons of excellent production, Georgia’s Nakobe Dean is Washington’s inside backer of the future.
There are questions about whether Nakobe can play inside at the next level due to his size limitations. Standing 6’0 and weighing 225 pounds, Dean does not fit your prototypical “size requirements” that you’re looking for in your modern MIKE linebacker.
But, he makes up for it with his football IQ, tackling ability, athleticism, coverage ability, among other things. He’s very good at beating blocks with his athletic ability and understanding of angles, he shoots the gaps like a rocket, he’s an explosive player that can get off of blocks quickly and attack with and through contact.
Dean is a fantastic player in coverage, allowing just 14 catches for 61 yards in 2021. In addition, he had two PBUs, two interceptions and allowed an NFL passer rating of 27.4 while in coverage.
His play against the run and as a blitzer flies off the screen. He can beat linemen with his explosive athletic ability, he has strong instincts and the ability to navigate through blocks, identify the ball and make a stop.
Overall, Washington selecting Nakobe Dean gives them an inside backer than can contribute right away at a very high level. Dean was an exceptional leader on and off the field at Georgia, with the production and skillset that is well-deserving of an 11th overall selection. Washington finally grabs their MIKE of the future in Georgia’s leader in the middle, Nakobe Dean.