2020 NFL Draft: D-II safety Kyle Dugger has obvious NFL upside
Kyle Dugger is a talented Divison-II safety who fits the modern NFL well. He is undoubtedly a 2020 NFL draft prospect to keep an eye on.
As per usual, the 2020 NFL Draft will primarily showcase players from major college football schools. Teams like Alabama, LSU and Ohio State will undoubtedly have many first-round players who will come in and make an impact at the next level. However, today we are going to take a look at a prospect from a little-know Division-II program in North Carolina.
Lenoir-Rhyne is not exactly known for putting players into the NFL. In fact, only seven players from the university have ever been drafted to the NFL, with the latest being in 2000 when the San Francisco 49ers took defensive end John Milm in the fifth round. Milm is also the highest-ever NFL draft selection from Lenoir-Rhyne. However, that could change in the 2020 NFL Draft, as safety Kyle Dugger is going be on the radar of many NFL teams.
Dugger is listed at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds and has tremendous natural speed and athleticism for a man of his size. He absolutely dominates his level of college competition, using his ridiculous combination of size, speed and quickness to make plays all over the field.
Dugger changes directions quickly and starts and stops on a dime. He gets downhill quickly and does a fantastic job of knifing through traffic in order to make plays against the run. His overall coverage skills are a bit raw, but Dugger’s raw athleticism more than makes up for it at his current level.
While he is probably too big to play safety at the next level, Dugger may be the perfect off-ball linebacker for the modern NFL. NFL linebackers simply do not need to be as big and bulky as in the past. It is much more important for them to be able to defend with speed and quickness from sideline-to-sideline and make plays in coverage.
Dugger undoubtedly has the speed and quickness needed to play linebacker at the next level and plays with a level of physicality that should allow for a smooth transition. You do not have to look hard to see Dugger as a potential star off-ball linebacker at the next level.
Luckily, we will be able to see Dugger against top-level competition prior to the 2020 NFL Draft. He has already accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl where he will have an opportunity to take his draft stock to the next level.
Make no mistake about it, Dugger is a tremendous defensive playmaker who is already on the NFL radar. If he tests well and shows out at the Senior Bowl, Dugger could become a massive late riser in the 2020 NFL Draft.