Patriots use 1st pick on Division II safety Kyle Dugger

Don Juan Moore / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The New England Patriots selected safety Kyle Dugger out of Lenoir-Rhyne in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 37th overall.

Duggar, a Division II prospect who had six punt-return touchdowns in college, is the Patriots' first pick of the draft after the club opted to trade out of the first round.

Prospect Profile

Positives

  • Explosive athlete with outstanding raw traits
  • Physical player vs. run game in the box
  • Incredible pursuit speed with good angles to ball
  • Foot and hip fluidity for smooth transitions in coverage
  • Athleticism for range as deep safety
  • Ball skills to make plays at the catch point
  • Added upside as returner

Negatives

  • Transition from Division II competition will be significant
  • Still developing processing ability in coverage
  • Overall defensive instincts will be a work in progress
  • Needs to improve balance as tackler

Bottom line

Dugger is one of the most impressive athletes in this class. He'll be making a major transition from Division-II Lenoir-Rhyne to the NFL, so patience will be required for him to reach his full potential. But the traits he brings just don't come around all the time. Dugger is an explosive talent who flies around the field as a run defender and drops the hammer when he gets to the ball carrier. Coverage will be the biggest challenge he faces early, but his athleticism gives him sideline-to-sideline range on the back end.

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Patriots use 1st pick on Division II safety Kyle Dugger
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