Kyle Dugger Safety Lenoir-Rhyne

2020 NFL Draft: D-II safety Kyle Dugger has obvious NFL upside

by Dan Schmelzer2 months ago Follow @DSchmelzerFS

Kyle Dugger is a talented Divison-II safety who fits the modern NFL well. He is undoubtedly a 2020 NFL draft prospect to keep an eye on.

As per usual, the 2020 NFL Draft will primarily showcase players from major college football schools. Teams like Alabama, LSU and Ohio State will undoubtedly have many first-round players who will come in and make an impact at the next level. However, today we are going to take a look at a prospect from a little-know Division-II program in North Carolina.

Lenoir-Rhyne is not exactly known for putting players into the NFL. In fact, only seven players from the university have ever been drafted to the NFL, with the latest being in 2000 when the San Francisco 49ers took defensive end John Milm in the fifth round. Milm is also the highest-ever NFL draft selection from Lenoir-Rhyne. However, that could change in the 2020 NFL Draft, as safety Kyle Dugger is going be on the radar of many NFL teams.

Dugger is listed at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds and has tremendous natural speed and athleticism for a man of his size. He absolutely dominates his level of college competition, using his ridiculous combination of size, speed and quickness to make plays all over the field.

Dugger changes directions quickly and starts and stops on a dime. He gets downhill quickly and does a fantastic job of knifing through traffic in order to make plays against the run. His overall coverage skills are a bit raw, but Dugger’s raw athleticism more than makes up for it at his current level.

While he is probably too big to play safety at the next level, Dugger may be the perfect off-ball linebacker for the modern NFL. NFL linebackers simply do not need to be as big and bulky as in the past. It is much more important for them to be able to defend with speed and quickness from sideline-to-sideline and make plays in coverage.

Dugger undoubtedly has the speed and quickness needed to play linebacker at the next level and plays with a level of physicality that should allow for a smooth transition. You do not have to look hard to see Dugger as a potential star off-ball linebacker at the next level.

Luckily, we will be able to see Dugger against top-level competition prior to the 2020 NFL Draft. He has already accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl where he will have an opportunity to take his draft stock to the next level.

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Make no mistake about it, Dugger is a tremendous defensive playmaker who is already on the NFL radar. If he tests well and shows out at the Senior Bowl, Dugger could become a massive late riser in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Senior Bowl Notes: Jordan Love, Kyle Dugger show out on day two

by Jacob Schyvinck2 days ago

Jordan Love and Kyle Dugger lead the Senior Bowl standouts from day two of practices.

It was another great day to be at the Senior Bowl practices, with the sun shining a bit more as practice started. The jokes began with draft Twitter early on with the North starting out once again with an extended period of stretching, and the coaches audibly mentioning keeping the hamstrings loose.

There was a lot more 11-on-11 today, which is always great to see during practice. The battles were fierce up front, and the competition downfield with the wide receivers and defensive backs continued to dominate the conversation. Let’s not forget about a bigger focus on the quarterbacks once again.

Who stood out and who fell flat during day two of the Senior Bowl practices? Let’s dive into the notes!

North Team

  • Stock up for the North hamstrings.
  • Utah State quarterback Jordan Love came out with a bit more zip on the ball on day two of practice. He continues to make tougher throws look easy. Even the wide receivers were surprised today with how fast the ball jumped out of his hand. Love made some excellent throws again down the field, and also showed great placement on throws in 11s in all spots.
  • It was another rough day for both Anthony Gordon and Shea Patterson. Gordon just doesn’t have a lot of velocity on the football. He did make one wow throw into coverage on the move late in practice. Patterson continues to struggle, and to make things worse, his best ball of the day was dropped by Liberty wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden.
  • TCU running back Darius Anderson looked good once again in the passing game, showing natural hands and the quickness to separate. He will certainly find a role with some team.
  • UCLA running back Joshua Kelley also looked good again with a speed/quickness combo.
  • The wide receivers led the talk on day two to no surprise. Ohio State’s K.J. Hill continues to look extremely fluid getting into his route, along with his very good hands. He’s gotten open all week long. The other big winner was Baylor’s Denzel Mims, who works well vertically and shows promise as a route runner.
  • Quartney Davis was solid today, but he was a little late getting his hands up to catch those Jordan Love rocket balls. Michael Pittman quietly went about his business and looked solid in one-on-ones. SMU’s James Proche still is tops as far as catching the football and got some reps in returning punts.
  • Brycen Hopkins and Adam Trautman got more looks in the passing game and capitalized.
  • One of the top players for many entering the Senior Bowl, Washington’s Nick Harris, struggled a lot one-on-one against interior defensive linemen. It will be important to go back to the tape to see if play strength is indeed an issue.
  • Connecticut’s Matt Peart looked a lot better on Wednesday, showing a strong anchor against edge rushers. Kansas lineman Hakeem Adeniji had a much better day after kicking inside to guard.
  • Temple’s Matt Hennessy continues to impress me, and he will likely rise on my board if the tape matches his practices this week.
  • Michigan edge rusher Josh Uche got more chances to beat tackles in practice on Wednesday, and he did just that. Uche also looked comfortable covering tight ends yesterday. He’s a big riser as of now for me.
  • North Carolina’s Jason Strowbridge is moving into the top echelon of Senior Bowl prospects as far as this week’s performance goes. He made an impact in nearly every drill.
  • Arkansas defensive lineman McTelvin Agim was a late add, but he showed great lower body strength against interior linemen and pushed the pocket back consistently.
  • One quick note about Wisconsin’s Zack Baun: he got a lot more reps at inside linebacker today.
  • Utah’s Francis Bernard looked so comfortable at the Mike spot in 11s, getting the defense aligned and communicating with everyone on the field.
  • Troy Pride Jr. continues to be physical at the line of scrimmage and broke up a number of passes again today.

South Team

  • Let’s start out with the quarterbacks here. Oregon’s Justin Herbert was solid once again in drills, showing good velocity and accuracy while on the move.
  • Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts looked a bit better in drills today and made some nice downfield throws to receivers. However, he still processed the field a little slower in 7s and 11s later on in practice. Colorado quarterback Steven Montez struggled once again, missing easy throws and had a bad interception late in practice.
  • Antonio Gibson stood out the most from the South running backs at Senior Bowl practice today. He has that extra gear when he gets into space and the quickness to make defenders miss. Gibson also looked great in pass protection drills.
  • Eno Benjamin will be coveted because of his ability to create space in the passing game. He got open on a few wheel routes today.
  • Florida wide receiver Van Jefferson continues to be unstoppable in one-on-ones. He looks so natural at creating separation and adjusts very well to the football when it’s in the air. Jefferson made a tough catch over the middle and immediately let the corner know about it.
  • Devin Duvernay didn’t get as much separation deep down the field as I expected, but he made some great catches in traffic today.
  • Austin Mack does well creating separation, but he had some frustrating drops again in practice today.
  • Vanderbilt wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb looked better today, especially working vertically with his speed.
  • What a day for LSU TE/WR Stephen Sullivan. He looked so fluid as a route runner and has the size to go up and get the football in contested spots. Sullivan also showed the ability to finish as a blocker. Teams should be taking notice.
  • I finally got around to watching St. John’s tackle Ben Bartch today in practice, and he definitely belongs. He held his ground against the top competition today in one-on-ones. I’m extremely impressed with his footwork.
  • LSU lineman Lloyd Cushenberry looked excellent once again today. He held up in drills against the top defensive tackles and looked more impressive once the run game got going in 11s, moving so well in space.
  • Clemson’s John Simpson and LSU’s Damien Lewis struggled in 1-on-1s, but once they got into 11s, their abilities as run blockers stood out on multiple occasions.
  • Javon Kinlaw is still awesome. That is all.
  • Both Florida edge rushers, Jonathan Greenard and Jabari Zuniga looked excellent again today. Greenard looks great converting speed to power, and Zuniga flashed rushing from the interior with his quickness and violent hands.

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  • Lenoir-Rhyne’s Kyle Dugger was fantastic again today. Dugger was used as a deep safety and played in tight coverage against tight ends all afternoon. He had a great interception early in practice recovering with his speed. There do not appear to be any holes in his game.
  • The only guy who got him was Jefferson, but UCLA corner Darnay Holmes looked impressive once again. He has the speed to stick with the receiver and is good at mirroring routes and recognizing how receivers want to win. As I said, he didn’t get beat much at all and hung with Jefferson in coverage up until the very end.

Both the guys listed at the end are getting nice write ups. Dugger is the type guy you love at safety. Ball park numbers but 6’2" 220 with 4.45 speed and long arms (over 33 inches). He was ignored coming out of high school because he was small. All 32 teams sent scouts here is part of an article

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 have stopped by Lenoir-Rhyne to evaluate the potential top-100 selection, many of them more than once, and with a combination of area and higher-level scouts. Nine NFL directors of college scouting had come through, along with four directors of player personnel, and one general manager (Marty Hurney of the Carolina Panthers). One scouting department from an AFC East team has been through Hickory five times.

You can’t teach his measurables and if he plays well today he may make it up into round 2.

he is a little short at 5’10" but everything written about him says he covers guys like glue. He can run a 4.3 according to one write-up. The NFL evaluators said he would be a day 3 pick or better. Definitely a day 2 based on everything written so far.

Lots of great prospects, we just need more picks.

Also read Holmes has played FS and excelled. Maybe a 5th round replacement for Diggs.

Darnay Holmes, CB/S, UCLA
The best defensive back at Senior Bowl was Darnay Holmes, in this draft analyst’s opinion. All three practices saw Holmes make plays in coverage, showing the ability to prevent separation and play the ball. He had a beautiful break up on a pass from Jalen Hurts for Collin Johnson in the middle of the field on Thursday. Holmes had a diving play to slap it away and came close to making the catch for an interception. Holmes looks like a nice defensive back who could play some nickel corner, free safety and outside corner. That versatility could lead to him being a riser in the draft process.

We don’t need to be taking any players from some Quebec school.

What’s that? Lenoir Rhyne is in … North Carolina?