NFL

NFL Draft sliders Malik Willis and Nakobe Dean find a home in third round

By Sports Desk April 29, 2022

After being projected as first-round picks in the NFL Draft, quarterback Malik Willis and linebacker Nakobe Dean finally heard their names called in the 80s.

Willis, 22, came out of nowhere in 2021, throwing for 2857 yards with 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and was the most impressive athlete in this year's quarterback class, rushing for 878 yards and 13 touchdowns.

During the pre-draft process, Willis was discussed as potentially the second overall pick, but did not hear his name called until the 22nd pick of the third round, when the Tennessee Titans traded up and selected him at 86. 

He went three picks later than Dean, who was the leader of arguably the greatest defense in college football history in the Georgia Bulldogs' National Championship team.

In the conversation for first linebacker to be selected, information emerged during the second round that Dean's medicals were not as clean as he would have hoped after suffering a pectoral injury in the pre-draft process.

The medical red flags scared teams off until the Philadelphia Eagles selected him at 83.

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