Nakobe Dean was the biggest faller of the 2022 NFL Draft. Projected by many to be a first-round pick in the draft, Dean fell all the way to the Philadelphia Eagles with the 83rd overall pick shortly after the LA Chargers were on the clock at 79.
While Dean was undoubtedly a first-round talent, he ultimately fell to the third round because of injury concerns and him not having surgery on his shoulder. That was obviously viewed as a massive red flag by teams considering how far he slid in the draft.
Considering he was viewed as a first-round prospect before the draft, there was a strong contingent of fans that wanted to see the Chargers take Dean with the 79th overall pick. In fact, a poll that we ran on our Twitter account before the selection showed that 69.4% of the fans who voted wanted Dean at 79.
Instead, the Chargers went with a surprising selection in JT Woods, who fans quickly convinced themselves of. However, there are still fans who are upset that Dean is not a Charger and to those fans, we have to assure you that the Bolts made the right decision.
Why the LA Chargers were right to not draft Nakobe Dean:
If you want to argue that the Chargers should have drafted someone else over Woods then that is fine, there were some other talented players that the Bolts could have drafted that would have fit. One of those players should not have been Dean.
While Dean is undoubtedly talented, the injury red flags are no joke and the Chargers were not in the position to take him at 79 and hope he stays healthy. If LA had a second-round pick then maybe it would have made sense, but the Chargers needed to land someone who the team thought could actually make an impact.
Sure, there are some concerns at linebacker but it still is not a huge need for the Bolts. Linebacker is the least important defensive position on the field in Brandon Staley's defense and the team invested a lot in Kenneth Murray. As bad as he was last season, he was hurt in the first year of a new defense. The team is not going to outright give up on the linebacker that they traded a second and third-round pick for.
Some may cite the fact that Murray had offseason surgery on his ankle as a reason to take a linebacker like Dean. That is not the solution. The Chargers would just be taking another hurt linebacker with question marks. How would that help?
Does Dean have the higher ceiling? Sure. Will JT Woods be far more impactful to the Chargers in year one and beyond with less concerns? Absolutely.