Just several hours after Auburn’s 63-14 win over Purdue in the Music City Bowl, the Tigers got the news that an important part of the defense would be skipping his senior season to head to the NFL.
Dean finished 2018 with 30 tackles, 2 TFLs, a sack, 2 interceptions, and a forced fumble. He turned into a solid corner after getting the starting nod to begin the year, and he’s got great size for an NFL corner at 6’1, 215. It’s not a great draft class for cornerbacks, so Dean could find himself getting selected fairly early.
As for what that means on the Plains for 2019, Auburn’s been recruiting defensive backs heavily. Dean started this season over Christian Tutt, who really impressed down the stretch, notching 25 tackles, 1 TFL, a sack, and an interception in a backup role. It does create a bit of an issue with depth thanks to the transfer of John Broussard out of the other corner spot, but Auburn has some capable corners that have primarily played nickel this season, including Javaris Davis and Jordyn Peters.
At this moment, there are some publications that have Dean going in the middle rounds of the NFL Draft, as the upper crust of defensive backs (Greedy Williams, Byron Murphy, DeAndre Baker) isn’t very deep. Dean should impress if he gets in front of some NFL scouts for workouts, and so his stock could rise with a little more publicity. Best of luck to him at the next level!