The 2020 NFL Draft will usher in the next generation of stars with a number of highly-rated prospects handed a chance to impress at the highest level of the game. Some players were scrupulously analyzed by coaching teams, whilst other franchises have sent a team of scouts to various states to meticulously follow the progress of potential picks. Power-5 schools are always popular and tend to attract a high amount of interest; however, Lenior-Rhyne University, which is located in Hickory, commands very little attention. The last player to be drafted from the North Carolina establishment was back in 2000.
Lifelong dreams becoming reality.— Lenoir-Rhyne Football (@LRBearsFootball) April 20, 2020
Kyle Dugger (@KingDugg_3) is set to become the first LR player since 2000 selected in the @NFLDraft!
?: 2020 @NFL Draft, April 23-25 on NFLN/ESPN/ABC #NFLDraft2020 | #GOBEARS?? pic.twitter.com/i6iLSkutNT
Operating as a senior safety, Dugger has attracted plenty of admiring glances over the last couple of years and his quality was finally recognised in 2019 when he was presented with the Cliff Harris Award. Interest began to mount throughout his senior season, and after running a 4.41 second 40, it became clear that the 24-year old should have the ability to make the step up.
The 6-foot-1 stopper finished his career in college football with 10 picks, 36 pass breakups, two blocked kicks as well as six forced fumbles. Although he will face a great caliber of player in the NFL, he is unlikely to be easily brushed aside.
Despite his size, he has a terrific level of athleticism and also possesses a burst of speed, which is something that does tend to be lacking in some of his fellow safeties. He also has very good hands and this will be vitally important if he is to succeed in the NFL. Although he’s been competing at a lower level, he plays with a high level of intelligence and rarely rushes into decisions. He isn’t afraid to be physical with wide receivers and won’t be overawed when faced with some of the division’s speediest operators. Forcing fumbles from the opposition is one of his greatest assets and although he isn’t quite at the same level as T.J Watt or Chandler Jones, he certainly has potential in this area.
He impressed during the one-on-one drills at the Senior Bowl in January 2020, helping to further cement his reputation as one of the sport’s greatest prospects. Prior to the Draft, the Bills and the Panthers were two teams who were keeping a close eye on the talented safety and he is also believed to have met with 14 teams at this year’s combine. After a number of years spent in Division II, Dugger will now finally be able to showcase his skills in front of a much wider audience.
The new NFL season is set to get underway at the beginning of September and many football fans are looking forward to seeing how many of the top picks will cope with the demands of playing at the highest level. A plethora of NFL regular season player props and team props have already been priced up online at Space Casino with Kyle Dugger currently available at 40/1 to be the defensive rookie of the year. He will face some stiff competition from highly-rated duo Chase Young and Isaiah Simmons, both of whom arrive with burgeoning reputations.
Kyle Dugger may not be a high-profile pick at the 2020 NFL Draft, yet he always posts impressive numbers and will work hard to constantly improve his game. He has the right attitude to succeed in the NFL and will almost certainly prove to be a huge asset when the season gets underway later this year.