As the 2021 NFL season comes to a dramatic climax, there is simply no time to rest. Time to shift our focus, because a new season is about to begin.
We are less than two weeks away from the 2022 NFL Combine. Top prospects from around the nation will be under the spotlight, itching for the moment they can show off their talent. This week-long scouting smorgasbord event is where careers are either created or ended before they have even begun. Here is a shortlist of who the Philadelphia Eagles should keep their eyes on in Indianapolis during combine week:
Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
The Eagles have been without a game-changing linebacker since Jordan Hicks made his departure from the team in 2018. With Nathan Gerry being the Eagles’ longest-tenured backer, it is time to admit that help is needed. The 6’0,” 225 lbs. Junior from Horn Lake, MS could be just what the Eagles have been looking for. Sideline to sideline speed and incredible play recognition helped Dean record six sacks and two interceptions last season.
Dean’s work ethic and passion would immediately capture the praise of fans in Philadelphia. In a recent interview with ESPN, Dean gave a small glimpse of his mindset: “I can’t look at football and not think, ‘what was supposed to happen right there?’ or ‘why did you do that?” As Dean explained. “That instinct is just in me now.” Scouts will want to keep a close eye on Dean throughout the combine.
George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
It is time to reshape the defense and build in the trenches. Karlaftis is one of the top edge defenders in this class of prospects. With Derek Barnett and Ryan Kerrigan heading to free agency, will the Eagles be looking for replacements?
The monstrous 6’4″, 275 lbs. junior from West Lafayette, IN has been an absolute nightmare for offensive linemen. In just 26 games as a Boilermaker, Karlaftis recorded an impressive 14 sacks, 29 tackles for a loss, and one interception. His quick burst and hand power allow him to tear through blockers with ease. Could Karlaftis be the next goliath we get used to seeing in Philly?
Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Speculation surrounds Jalen Reagor’s future as Philadelphia’s number two wideout. With uncertainty in the air, the Eagles could be looking for a new complementary piece to line up alongside the 2021 Heisman Winner, DeVonta Smith. Ball security and awareness are something the Eagles haven’t had an abundance of in these last few years. Eagles’ fans have been haunted by numerous dropped pass misroutes.
Olave could be the missing piece to the Eagles wideout corps. The 6’1,” 189 lbs. senior from San Ysidro, CA has incredible route running capabilities and some of the best hands in the country. His explosive burst off the line of scrimmage gives him a knack for getting open anywhere on the field.
The Buckeye receiver had an outstanding 175 receptions, 2,702 yards, and 35 touchdowns in his four-year stint with the team. This prospect can sure fly on the field, and it will be interesting to see if the Eagles attempt to add him to their nest at the draft.
The Final Countdown
A total of 324 prospects have been invited to attend this year’s combine. With March 1st quickly approaching, prospects and even scouts will be working extra hard to keep their nerves in check. This is where NFL dreams could start to become a reality.
The Eagles have a long list of promising prospects they will be paying close attention to during the combine. Will the Eagles consider any of these three prospects? We shall soon find out, as the road to the 2022 NFL Draft begins here.