Updated Oct. 10, 2019
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
Every year in the NFL Draft, there are some small-school prospects who break through and become early-round selections despite having played at a lower level of competition compared to the vast majority of players drafted. This year, two small-school prospects who are generating a big buzz in the scouting community are Liberty wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden and Lenoir-Rhyne safety Kyler Dugger. Last summer, WalterFootball.com was the first NFL media site to write about NFL teams being high on Gandy-Golden. Now, Dugger is joining him as a small-school prospect who has created a big buzz about his NFL future during his senior season of college football.
Sources at five different teams say that Dugger has the potential to be a second-day pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Thus far in 2019, he has 19 tackles, two interceptions and four passes broken up. One of those interceptions was returned for a touchdown. Dugger also produced well over the previous two seasons. In 2018, He totaled 76 tackles with 13 passes defended and three interceptions. He had 87 tackles with seven breakups and an interception in 2017 over 10 games.
Team sources say that Dugger has an excellent skill set as he is big and fast. Dugger is listed at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, which are excellent numbers for a pro safety, and he is said to play very fast, flying around the field. They also believe that he will work out very well before the 2020 NFL Draft and could be a riser throughout the draft process. Dugger is putting his name on the map and has high-level scouts, like directors of college scouting, going to watch him this season. If Dugger maintains this level of play and does well in the pre-draft process, it sounds like he will be a second- or third-round pick next April.