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Logic

Kyle Dugger - Safety/Linebacker, Lenoir-Rhyne University

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I've been reading a lot about Kyle Dugger the past few days. Dugger has the chance to be the first D-II prospect taken in round 1 since 1999, though he may slip to the 2nd round when it's all said and done.

Most would agree that safety isn't a primary need for the Bills. However, with Poyer and Hyde entering their 30s and with neither yet having had their contracts extended, I wonder if it's more of a need than people would want to admit. Furthermore, the Bills are among the teams who have most thoroughly scouted the player in question. So below I have posted a few articles and quotes about "the gem of the 2020 draft", Kyle Dugger. 

To be clear, I love Hyde and Poyer, and I have no problem with the Bills extending either or both of them. That being said, Dugger would be perfect as the "Big Nickel" in McDermott's defense, assuming the Bills don't see him as a true full time safety. For as good as the Bills defense was in 2019, it didn't not create enough turnovers. In the same way that the offense needs more "touchdown makers", the defense needs more playmakers and ball-takers.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001073502/article/super-sleeper-dii-safety-kyle-dugger-squarely-on-nfls-radar

 

At nearly 6-foot-1 and 218 pounds, he was clocked by Florence at 4.41 and 4.45 in the 40-yard dash. Had Florence asked, Dugger could also have shown him an eye-opening broad jump of 10 feet, 11 inches. Florence placed a draftable grade on him, and ever since a parade of scouting attention has blazed a rarely traveled path through Hickory. All 32 NFL clubs stopped by Lenoir-Rhyne to evaluate the potential top-100 selection this past fall, many of them more than once, and with a combination of area and higher-level scouts. By last October, nine NFL directors of college scouting had come through, along with four directors of player personnel, and one GM (Marty Hurney of the Carolina Panthers).


"We've not had this kind of attention here, and I'm learning a lot myself," said Lenoir-Rhyne assistant coach Tim Foster, who also serves as the program's liaison to scouts.

A number of those scouts have projected Dugger -- with a frame to easily add more weight -- as an outside linebacker who could blanket tight ends and running backs on third down. According to an AFC scout who has been through Hickory, Dugger's return skills will easily translate to the NFL, as well.


"I think of him more like a Josh Cribbs-type returner," the scout said. "He'll develop into a box safety or an outside linebacker, but as a returner, I think he's special, because he's strong enough to break the first tackle, stick his foot in the ground and get upfield."


Multiple NFL clubs requested Dugger for the Senior Bowl, but it was already an easy decision for executive director Jim Nagy, who considers Dugger one of the top five small-school players in the 2020 draft class.



https://theathletic.com/1619483/2020/02/20/the-first-round-draft-talent-no-one-in-the-nfl-saw-coming/?redirected=1  (pay wall)?

"All 32 NFL teams sent someone to Lenoir-Rhyne’s campus. Panthers general manager Marty Hurney visited. The Bills were among the teams to come through most often, sending three different high-ranking members of their scouting staff. "

"...Cronic would have to coach the quarterbacks differently in practice when Dugger was on the field, because he covered more ground than a typical Division 2 defensive back."

“He was a No. 4 in our kickoff (coverage), which is our dog,” Cole said. “They would try to double team him and he would destroy double teams. Not just beat them, he would destroy the double team, like destroy them to where they would triple team. They couldn’t stop him. … You could see the look on guys’ faces, like, ‘Oh shoot, I’ve got to double team him?’ And then, 
bow! I’ll always remember that.”

 

"Some think he’s just a safety, others think he can play linebacker. For a team like Buffalo that uses a “big nickel” as a hybrid of a nickel corner and a linebacker, he’s a natural fit. Dugger said he feels most comfortable at safety, but will play anywhere on the field and relish the chance to show off his versatility. In a league where tight ends are becoming harder to cover, Dugger has the skill set to do that.


He’s really a cool chess piece,” Nagy said. “I think (Clemson safety/linebacker) Isaiah Simmons is getting all the love as being that guy in this draft, but Kyle, he’s going to be a nice matchup piece wherever you put him. You can move this guy all around. It’s just going to take a coordinator who is willing to think outside the box a little bit and play to his strengths.”


https://withthefirstpick.com/2020/02/12/kyle-dugger-gem-2020-nfl-draft/6/

 

"The Senior Bowl already launched Dugger’s draft stock solidly into day-two of the draft, but he may still have a further climb ahead of him. Again, Dugger is expected to test off the charts later this month when he takes on the combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. Should a team at the back end of the first round fall in love with him, Dugger could become the first division II player since 1999 to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, and this writer would not bat an eye.

Currently with a second round grade on him, Dugger’s film grade is finalized as the third best safety in the class behind just Alabama’s Xavier McKinney and LSU’s Grant Delpit. For a division II prospect to be named with two high-profile SEC safeties is quite the accomplishment and honor; Dugger has earned every bit of recognition that he has received."

 


 

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Wonder if they could trade down a little, get some extra picks, and take him with their first pick. He sure looks like a man among boys. 
 

 

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13 hours ago, PIZ said:

Wonder if they could trade down a little, get some extra picks, and take him with their first pick. He sure looks like a man among boys. 
 

 


I usually roll my eyes at the "trade down a bunch and accumulate extra picks!" suggestions. This year, I think it would be a fantastic idea.

Where the Bills are sitting, at pick 22, if they could trade down a couple times and accumulate picks in the 2nd and 3rd round, they should. It looks like they're going to miss out on the top few WRs and Edge rushers any way, so they might as well get down into that 2nd and 3rd round "sweet spot" for WRs, DBs, and the last of the good edge rushers.

In any case, I don't think it's an accident or coincidence that the Bills have spent so much time and effort scouting this kid. We'll see soon enough, I guess. It will be really interesting to see how he performs at the combine. A great performance could push him up into the bottom of the 1st round. 

Edited by Logic

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1 hour ago, Logic said:


I usually roll my eyes at the "trade down a bunch and accumulate extra picks!" suggestions. This year, I think it would be a fantastic idea.

Where the Bills are sitting, at pick 22, if they could trade down a couple times and accumulate picks in the 2nd and 3rd round, they should. It looks like they're going to miss out on the top few WRs and Edge rushers any way, so they might as well get down into that 2nd and 3rd round "sweet spot" for WRs, DBs, and the last of the good edge rushers.

In any case, I don't think it's an accident or coincidence that the Bills have spent so much time and effort scouting this kid. We'll see soon enough, I guess. It will be really interesting to see how he performs at the combine. A great performance could push him up into the bottom of the 1st round. 

 

Trade down some. Take Dugger higher than he's expected to go, but at least you get your guy, if he is their guy. Then they could package their 2nd round pick and add a pick they got in the trade down, to move to the top of the 2nd and pick-up the best available player, who may be an Edge or WR. Extra picks will allow them to move around a lot, if they want to target a player or 2; that is one of Beane's specialties. The Patriots could take this guy higher than expected; they always seem to do that.

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On 2/21/2020 at 12:20 PM, PIZ said:

 

Trade down some. Take Dugger higher than he's expected to go, but at least you get your guy, if he is their guy. Then they could package their 2nd round pick and add a pick they got in the trade down, to move to the top of the 2nd and pick-up the best available player, who may be an Edge or WR. Extra picks will allow them to move around a lot, if they want to target a player or 2; that is one of Beane's specialties. The Patriots could take this guy higher than expected; they always seem to do that.

Too risky even in round 2 for my blood.  The Bills are close to being real contenders and they can’t afford a whiff early.  He looks like a real top athlete, but that is D2 competition that he is running all over.  How would he look against top level D1 schools?  Would he even be a starter, let alone a star, in the SEC or Big 10?
 

He may end up being good in the NFL, but with no tape against good D1 competition, I would take my chances in the top 2 rounds on players who you can see against top college competition.  

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23 hours ago, OldTimer1960 said:

Too risky even in round 2 for my blood.  The Bills are close to being real contenders and they can’t afford a whiff early.  He looks like a real top athlete, but that is D2 competition that he is running all over.  How would he look against top level D1 schools?  Would he even be a starter, let alone a star, in the SEC or Big 10?
 

He may end up being good in the NFL, but with no tape against good D1 competition, I would take my chances in the top 2 rounds on players who you can see against top college competition.  

Every pick is always a risk and he's especially risky

 

But yes I would wager he would be a power 5 starter. D2 precedent is rare but not unheard of

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On 2/22/2020 at 4:55 PM, OldTimer1960 said:

Too risky even in round 2 for my blood.  The Bills are close to being real contenders and they can’t afford a whiff early.  He looks like a real top athlete, but that is D2 competition that he is running all over.  How would he look against top level D1 schools?  Would he even be a starter, let alone a star, in the SEC or Big 10?
 

He may end up being good in the NFL, but with no tape against good D1 competition, I would take my chances in the top 2 rounds on players who you can see against top college competition.  


Fair take.

I believe that SOME NFL team -- maybe not the Bills, but someone -- will take him in round two.

Personally, I'm not put off by the D-II thing. Doesn't bother me. And like I said, I believe the defense needs more playmakers/ball-takers, so if they think Dugger can substantially improve their defensive production as a team, then I'm all for it.

I do understand the hesitation on the part of others, though.

Edited by Logic

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On 2/24/2020 at 12:30 PM, Logic said:


Fair take.

I believe that SOME NFL team -- maybe not the Bills, but someone -- will take him in round two.

Personally, I'm not put off by the D-II thing. Doesn't bother me. And like I said, I believe the defense needs more playmakers/ball-takers, so if they think Dugger can substantially improve their defensive production as a team, then I'm all for it.

I do understand the hesitation on the part of others, though.

I think that team that plays its home games in Foxboro did indeed pick him in Round 2. :o :angry: :censored:

 

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