The top pick in the 2010 New England Patriots draft will soon be sharing a secondary with this decade’s.
Patriots captain Devin McCourty discussed the selection of safety Kyle Dugger during Sunday’s episode of the Double Coverage Podcast.
“It’s exciting, man, just to see,” McCourty said of the 24-year-old Lenoir-Rhyne product. “Obviously, we don’t know a lot of the guys when they come out of college. But once we drafted him, just seeing his combine results, small-school guy, so he’s going to have a huge chip on his shoulder. I think he’s a guy that’s going to fit right in.”
New England had traded down twice before drafting McCourty out of Rutgers at No. 27 overall. Ten springs later, the war room moved out of the first round and took Dugger at No. 37 overall.
Dugger would be the eighth defensive back off the board. He’d be the second safety, minutes after Alabama’s Xavier McKinney went to the New York Giants.
“Coming in as a small-school guy, coming in as a guy that when you get drafted, people are like, ‘Why’d they pick him?’ I love getting guys like that,” McCourty said of Dugger. “I felt like I was the same way coming into the league. I’m sure he’ll be like that.”
Dugger started 42 games in the South Atlantic Conference and earned the Cliff Harris Award as the top defensive player in Division-II during his final season. The Senior Bowl invite proceeded to run the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Dugger, at 6-foot-1, 217 pounds, would also register a 42-inch vertical and an 11-foot-2 broad jump while in Indianapolis.
“I’m excited to just get him in our defense,” McCourty continued. “As athletic as he is, I know that he’ll be able to be like that chess piece moving all over the defense. It’ll be fun. Anytime you get young guys in there that just want to learn and play, it’s so exciting watching them develop.”
Dugger will work into a safety depth chart that includes McCourty, Patrick Chung, Adrian Phillips, Terrence Brooks, Cody Davis, Malik Gant and Adarius Pickett.
New England concluded the 2020 draft having filled out 10 cards.
“He’s going to be like the rest of those guys, I’m sure – eager to get going,” added McCourty. “I’m sure we’ll get a chance to have those guys in meeting in the next week or two.”