2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kyle Dugger

  • Kyle Dugger, 6-0/217

  • Safety

  • Lenoir-Rhyne

  • Kyle Dugger Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Play-maker
  • Ball skills
  • Knack for big plays and turnovers
  • Dangerous in zone coverage in the middle of the field
  • Can play man coverage versus tight ends
  • Capable of dishing out some hard hits
  • Big
  • Fast
  • Tough run defender
  • Willing tackler
  • Covers a lot of ground
  • Good eighth man in the box
  • Hybrid strong safety and sub linebacker flexibility

  • Weaknesses:
  • Strong safety limitations
  • Should not be a single high free safety
  • Short-area movement limitations
  • Instincts are above average but not elite

  • Summary: Back in June of 2019, WalterFootball.com was first to report that Dugger was a pro prospect, as NFL teams had placed him on their preseason watch list after he impressed the advance scouts. In 2018, Dugger 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.

    Then during the fall of 2019, Dugger was being buzzed about in the scouting community, with high-level scouts like directors of college scouting going to watch him. In 2019, he totaled 31 tackles with two interceptions and four passes broken up while dealing with an injury. Teams were raving about his speed at his big size. He put that on display at the NFL Scouting Combie with a fabulous 40-yard dash time of 4.49 seconds.

    In pass coverage, Dugger is a versatile safety that can help a defense in a variety of ways. Dugger is a play-making strong safety who is dangerous in zone coverage in the middle of the field. He can dish out some hard hits across the middle and has a knack for being around the ball. To go along with his size and speed, Dugger has enough athleticism to play man coverage on tight ends. However, short-area movement could be problematic for Dugger, so he should not play nickel corner against slot receivers. He also should not be a single high deep free safety. Thus, Dugger is more of a true strong safety for the NFL.

    In run defense, Dugger is a tough safety who has good size and strength. He has the ability to take on power backs and was a good tackler. Dugger’s speed comes through with him flying downhill and he will be a good fit as the eighth man in the box in run defense. Some team sources feel that Dugger has hybrid potential where he could be moved to linebacker in the sub package. Dugger is making a big jump in competition, so it might better for him to get comfortable at one position before being moved to other spots.

    Some team sources see Dugger as a potential late second-round pick or early third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that he goes early in Round 2. After some time adjusting to the big jump in competition, Dugger should become a good starting strong safety in the NFL.

    Player Comparison: Landon Collins. Some team sources have compared Dugger to Collins, and the two have similar playing styles. Dugger is not as physical as Collins, but Dugger has more pass-coverage skills for the NFL. I could see Dugger being a safety whose caliber of play is similar to Collins’, although Dugger may never get the same amount of hype. Some other team sources also compared Dugger to Falcons strong safety Keanu Neal.



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