Grant Delpit (LSU) and Xavier McKinney (Alabama) are widely considered the top two safety prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft. After these two potential first-round selections, the rest of the safety group becomes a cluster of varying skill sets and styles that will appeal to some teams more than others. The 2020 safety group possesses several small school players who could threaten the hierarchy of the class. Perhaps representing the highest upside of the safety class, Lenoir-Rhyne senior defensive back Kyle Dugger is poised for a huge rise during the draft process.
Boasting a rock-solid build at 6’1” and 220 pounds, Dugger is a well-built athlete who possesses several baseline traits to project to several positions in the defensive secondary. Sitting as an athletic freak with noteworthy explosiveness and playmaking ability, Dugger stands as one of the most dynamic safety prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft class. In the end, the film speaks for itself. Here are several Pros and Cons that stood out when evaluating Dugger’s game film.
Dugger is an explosive athlete who has all the baseline athletic traits to project favorably as a strong safety, free safety or nickel cornerback transitioning to the next level. With his combination of size and speed, he is able to match up favorably as a man defender against undersized slot receivers and big-bodied tight ends. With notable range, Dugger is able to play both underneath and deep zones at a high level. He is a physical presence as a tackler, flashing some of the most impressive open field shots in the class. To top it all off, Dugger is perhaps the most accomplished punt returner in the class, adding to the allure of this small school stud.
Most evaluators are going to point to the quality of competition Dugger faced on the Division II level as a main concern in his evaluation, and it is clearly something to be evaluated. With the difference in athleticism between him and his opponents, attention to detail technically is much less important. Winning the majority of his reps off of natural athleticism, Dugger will need to prove that his instincts can kick in once the playing field has been leveled. The 2020 Reese’s Senior Bowl will be a huge indicator of those intellectual traits.
The talent Kyle Dugger possesses has been highlighted for quite some time now. He has the size, physicality, and athleticism to make a contribution early-on in his professional career. With the ability to play multiple positions, he is a versatile backend piece who projects favorably as a starter almost immediately in his career. With a good showing in Mobile and Indianapolis, Dugger has the ability to assert himself as an early Day Two selection, with some looks at the end of the first round not out of the question.
Pro Comparison: Eric Berry
Check out our scouting report on Wesley College safety, Coray Williams.