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Nakobe Dean Shines In Rivalry Game

Inside linebacker Nakobe Dean has been regarded as a first-round prospect this season, and had one of his best games of the year against Florida.

Inside linebacker Nakobe Dean has been making plays all over the field this year, but he may have had his best game of the season against the Florida Gators.

He had an interception that he returned for a touchdown, routinely made plays in the run game, and almost came up with his second interception in the second half on a diving pass deflection. 

NFL Draft analysts are starting to increase coverage as we draw closer to the end of the college regular season, and many have come away enthralled with what Dean brings to the next level. He has received numerous first-round grades over the past few weeks and cemented his stock against the Gators.

Dean's performance came as no surprise to regular Georgia viewers. He routinely flashes his sideline-to-sideline athleticism and has always had a knack for finding the ball.

There were plenty of talented players in Saturday's game, but Dean's instincts helped him separate himself from the others. He made several big plays in run defense because he lined up correctly and made the necessary adjustments.

Dean's pick-six crushed seemed to be the final body blow before the end of the first half. Every time Georgia needed Dean to come up with a big stop, he was always in the correct position.

ESPN staff writer Todd McShay recently released his first-round big board and had Dean as the No. 14 prospect in all of college football. Here is what McShay had to say about the Georgia product.

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"Dean is an off-ball linebacker who has good speed, suddenness, range and instincts. He can match up with running backs in coverage, but he can also go sideline to sideline in run defense. Dean will make a lot of plays in pursuit, closing on ball carriers and wrapping up on tackles. His improvement as a blitzer this season has been impressive, too. He can locate gaps and close on the QB. Dean shows an excellent motor on every single down. In 2021, Dean has 30 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 5.0 tackles for loss and an interception."

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