Nakobe Dean should've been long gone by the time pick No. 83 arrived.
Instead, he was still there for the taking, and the Eagles did not shy away. Philadelphia chose the Georgia linebacker in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Friday.
Dean's selection came after the Eagles took Nebraska center Cam Jurgens with the 51st overall selection.
The linebacker was widely seen as a surefire first-round pick, but as is often the case with the annual player selection process, Dean became the notable player to fall out of the first round. Then he fell out of the second round, raising plenty of eyebrows, and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported teams were concerned with a pectoral injury on which Dean declined surgery and a meniscus issue.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman told reporters Friday night Dean currently isn't scheduled for any surgeries.
"People had concerns, but Nakobe Dean is going to be on the field for rookie minicamp," Roseman said.
Dean concurred with Roseman's prognosis when he spoke to the media late Friday night.
"I'm healthy and I'm ready to go," Dean said, via NFL Network's James Palmer. "We got mini-camp next week and I expect to be a full participant."
The medical worries clearly weren't enough to prevent the Eagles from selecting Dean -- and satisfying the request of well-known Eagles fan and podcaster Giovanni:
Dean was a crucial cog in the Bulldogs' ascent to the national championship.
Earning a 91.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus that led all FBS linebackers (with at least 100 defensive snaps), Dean was a model of versatility. The Butkus Award winner as the nation's top linebacker, Dean had 72 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) during a stellar junior campaign. He's undersized at 5-foot-11, 229 pounds, but his do-it-all ability and instincts have made up for any size concerns so far.
Perhaps most importantly, the selection of Dean provides the Eagles with a much-needed reinforcement at linebacker. If he can prove he's healthy and still the same player he was for the national champion Bulldogs in 2021, Roseman might end up looking like a genius for this selection. The biggest hurdle now for Dean is proving the medical concerns were overblown.