Howie Roseman followed up his wild first-round with another great duo of players on day two in Nebraska center Cam Jurgens and Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean.
At 51st overall, the Eagles found Jason Kelce’s heir apparent with Jurgens. The Nebraska product was the most explosive and physically imposing center in this draft class. His game still needs some refinement, but all the physical tools are there.
On 1,016 pass blocking snaps during his collegiate career, Jurgens only surrendered one sack, four quarterback hits, and 29 hurries. He was as reliable as they come at the college level, starting 31 out of a possible 32 games with Nebraska. As a former tight end, Jurgens has the type of athleticism the Eagles covet in their centers.
Though he won’t play much in year one barring a Kelce injury, he’s a great depth piece for the interior of the offensive line and the time on the sideline will give Jurgens time to refine his game. He’ll have the best center in Eagles history and the best offensive line coach in the league coaching him up during that time. He’s in good hands.
The real story of night two was the slide of Nakobe Dean. Rumors starting circulating that teams had removed him from their board due to failed medical evaluations. It was speculated that Dean would require surgery on his pec that would see him miss the entire 2022 season.
When both Dean and Howie spoke after day two, they made it clear that the injury concerns were overblown. With rookie camp starting next week, both Dean and Howie said the Georgia stand out will be ready to go and should be a full participant.
It’s just insane that a talent like Dean fell this far, especially when it was based off bad information about his health status. Dean was the leader of the best defense in college football last season and made plays week in and week out.
He posted a 91.8 overall grade in 2022, per Pro Football Focus. On the year, he totaled 72 combined tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, two interceptions, and one touchdown. He was asked to do everything in Kerby Smart’s defense, spending time in the slot, on the defensive line, at corner, and in his natural linebacker position throughout the 2022 season.
Dean has elite quickness and reaction time. The ‘nose for the ball’ label is often overplayed, but Dean truly has that in his game. He’s always around the football, always ready to make a splash play to influence the outcome of a game.
I would have been fine selecting Dean with any of the Eagles picks on day one or two. The fact that they somehow got him at 83rd overall just makes it even better. Dean already plays with a massive chip on his shoulders due to his smaller stature. Sliding all the way to the third-round will only make that chip bigger.
Howie has done a tremendous job through two days of this year’s NFL Draft. Hopefully he can close things out with a bang on Saturday.