DB Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne

6’1” – 217 lbs. – 4.49

Redshirted, then recorded 43 tackles, two breakups, and four interceptions. Posted 87 tackles, six breakups, and an interception the following year. Best season was his junior campaign (76 tackles, 10 breakups, three picks, two punt return touchdowns). Was limited to seven games by a hand injury this past year, posting 31 tackles, four breakups, and two interceptions and returning two punts for touchdowns.

Despite being a bigger defensive back, doesn’t come down and play in the box very often; instead, splits his time pretty evenly between being a high safety (usually with another opposite him) and shading over the slot to play off-man against receivers. Didn’t see press-man; generally had a cushion of ten yards or so. One of the fastest and most explosive athletes at the safety position in this year’s class; has the ability to cover a lot of ground and could eventually develop into a well-rounded starter capable of getting to the sidelines in order to provide help on targets from deep zones, or of sticking with receivers and tight ends down the seams. Already looks comfortable keeping up with wideouts running crossing routes over the middle of the field, although his actual coverage isn’t the tightest. Because of how far off the ball he was usually playing, wasn’t asked to backpedal too often, tending to already have the play in front of him, something which allowed him to use his impressive athleticism to plant and drive on spots.

Still developing his instincts overall; processes the game a little bit slowly, and movements can look out of control at times, with wasted motion resulting from a lack of anticipatory skills. However, has the type of burst and recovery speed to get himself back into the play, or at least did against the Division II competition he was playing against. When in-phase, possesses solid ball skills to make interceptions, and is dangerous with the ball in his hands, either after making interceptions or when returning punts, several of which he brought back for touchdowns at the college level. Doesn’t make quite as many tackles as anticipated for a player with his type of superior athleticism. As mentioned previously, appears to react to what’s happening more than to anticipate how plays will develop, and his overall awareness when working through congestion leaves a lot to be desired; ends up getting stuck in traffic too often. Angles in pursuit can be too aggressive at times.

A difficult evaluation in that he clearly possesses pro-caliber size and speed, but whose instincts and awareness are still raw. A true boom-or-bust candidate who has high-end talent but will need to take some major steps in order to reach his potential. Looks like he might come off the board on the second day.

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