2022 NFL Draft: Trent McDuffie Scouting Report

Trent McDuffie NFL Draft Overview

Position: Cornerback

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 195lb

School: Washington 

Trent McDuffie 2022 NFL Draft Profile

Before becoming a star in the Pacific Northwest, Trent McDuffie, a California native, was a star in his home state. An illustrious high school career at St. John Bosco saw McDuffie ranked third in the nation by USA Today. He committed to Washington after helping St. John Bosco to a 13-1 record and a run to the championship game.

As a freshman at Washington, McDuffie was an instant hit. He started 11 games as a freshman, hitting the ground running with his performances. He garnered a number of accolades, including an honorable mention for PAC-12 Freshman DPOY, and PFF’s All-PAC-12 Freshman Second-Team. A successful start to his Washington career climaxed with a starring role in The Apple Cup against Washington State.

Starting every game in 2020, McDuffie was a vital player for Washington on both defense and special teams. However, it was his defensive impact that was recognized further at the end of that season, with selections to the All-PAC-12 Second-Team, and PFF’s All-PAC-12 First-Team.

In 2021, McDuffie failed to maintain his 100% playing record from the previous year. However, he started the other 11 and elevated his play to such a height that McDuffie became to be regarded as one of the finest defensive backs in the nation. His excellent pass defense was recognized both before and after the season, with an All-PAC-12 First-Team nod rounding out a stellar college career. Following the conclusion of the season, McDuffie declared his intention to enter the 2022 NFL Draft.

Strengths

  • Exceptionally patient in zone coverage;
  • Boasts the pedigree of Washington’s defensive backs;
  • Ability to play the ball throughout the process of the tackle;
  • Sharp and responsive in zone coverage;
  • Plays back through the receiver;
  • Excellent at reading the quarterback heads-up;
  • Good tackling ability for a cornerback;
  • Backfield presence; has good bend in pursuit down LoS;
  • High motor;
  • Patient but assertive in the open field.

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t have elite foot speed;
  • Not often in a position to play the ball;
  • Allows some separation;
  • Lacks elite size and length;
  • Doesn’t engage the receiver enough in man coverage;
  • Limited deployment in downfield coverages.

Teams With Need At Position: San Francisco 49ersCincinnati BengalsBuffalo BillsDenver BroncosArizona CardinalsKansas City ChiefsPhiladelphia EaglesNew York JetsNew England PatriotsBaltimore RavensSeattle SeahawksPittsburgh SteelersHouston TexansMinnesota VikingsWashington Commanders.

NFL Comparison: Kenny Moore II

Projection: Mid-to-late first round

Bottom Line on Trent McDuffie

Trent McDuffie has one of the less-versatile skillsets among the top corners available in this year’s draft class. However, he is absolutely elite at what he does. Stout and effective up front, McDuffie is intelligent and sharply reactive in Washington’s shallow zone scheme. With his eyes on the quarterback, McDuffie’s fluidity and instincts allow him to access every boundary of his assigned zone, playing hard and assertive down to the line of scrimmage. He possesses arguably the best tackling ability among this year’s top corners, a talent which is exemplified in his frequently shallow deployment.

If McDuffie is going to be a difference-maker as a rookie, it will be in a scheme that allows him to be a force in the shallow perimeter. At present, he’s not done his best work in man coverages, especially in press-man, as he fails to bring the same level of physicality he has in his tackling to his coverage. Therefore, a team that deploys a lot of shallow coverages can rely on McDuffie’s ability to read and react inside 15 yards. His skillset also lends itself well to playing on the inside.

McDuffie’s pedigree as the latest top corner to come out of Washington bodes well for his technical base; his subsequent capacity for development at the NFL level means that a team with a history of molding corners to fit their system, such as the New England Patriots, would be a good landing spot for McDuffie. He will be a first-rounder, but his usage in his first year will depend on whether the team drafting him is doing so for fit or development.

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