Chargers Draft

3 first-round prospects the Chargers should avoid in the 2022 NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Tom Pennington/GettyImages
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Nakobe Dean
Missouri Tigers v Georgia Bulldogs / Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/GettyImages

3. Nakobe Dean, LB Georgia

Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean is the third prospect on this list that the LA Chargers should seriously consider staying away from with their first-round pick.

The Junior linebacker has been a two-year starter on the Bulldogs' vaunted defense, really solidifying his status as a first-round prospect with his play in 2021.

Dean, standing 6'0", 225 pounds, is a heat-seeking middle linebacker. Excelling with his speed and small frame, he is an excellent blitzer, run defender, and tackler in the open field. Dean flashed problems in coverage against tight ends while at Georgia, and his lack of size projects that deficiency to carry over into the NFL.

Due to his traits, Dean's style of play is not exactly what the Chargers are looking for from the linebacker position. If Kyzir White walks in free agency, linebacker could become a first-round target position, but other prospects such as Utah's Devin Lloyd suit the Staley defense better. The modern NFL, and Staley's defense in particular, require linebackers capable enough of being not only sufficient in the run game, but highly reliable in pass coverage.

Not a direct comparison in terms of abilities, however similar in where their strengths are, think of Dean as similar to what Denzel Perryman was with the Chargers, a thumping MIKE linebacker who can get exposed in coverage.

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Given the fact that linebacker is not a top-pressing issue yet, and the style of play Dean possesses not being what the Chargers are after, it seems in the best interest of the franchise to stay away from the Georgia LB with the 17th pick.

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