Trent McDuffie is apparently multi-talented, both on the field and off. He’s a gifted musician who can play multiple instruments and can decipher an offense in the blink of an eye. What’s more is his maturity off the field.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, through an interview with NBCsports.com, said, “You hear the way this kid just knocked his meetings out of the park, and I’m not talking about one or two teams. It’s every single team I’ve talked to has said the guy’s Mensa level when it comes to explaining football, explaining what he was doing out there, you see the versatility. Again, didn’t play heavy man for a first-round corner in college, but has experience having played both, so you have that versatility.”
The one glaring issue is his size. Some draft websites list him at 5’10¾”, others list him at 5’11.” What is undeniable was his productivity on the field. Last season, he started 11 games, made 35 tackles, four for loss with one sack and had six pass breakups. The Washington Huskies’ corner started the last 11 games as a true freshman, when he made 45 tackles, with one interception, two pass breakups, forced two fumbles, and tied for sixth in the FBS with three fumble recoveries.
Strengths: McDuffie can play slot, outside, work in press-man coverage and he has no problem with being physical in run defense. In man coverage, his 4.4-second 40 speed allows him to stay with fast receivers, though what stands above everything is his intellect. At Washington, he had a great knack for seeing and reading a play before it developed, frequently placing him in great position to make plays. His zone coverage was as astute as his man coverage, and many scouts said he’s very active in run defense.
Weaknesses: The size haunts him. He’s proven to be a capable tackler, though can he negate the height disadvantage he would have against the NFL’s larger receivers? In the PAC-12, he was not consistently matched with NFL-caliber talent every week.
Will he be there for the Eagles: By all projections, McDuffie would be there at 15 or 18 for the Eagles. The Eagles could think about trading down to get him and gaining more draft equity, if he’s on their board, and he should be. The only reason the Eagles, or any NFL team, would balk on him is how a team looks at the height measurable. With McDuffie, all the other boxes are definitively checked when it comes to attitude, game intelligence, aggressiveness, versatility, tenacity in run support and the ability to recognize routes. According to Pro Football Focus, McDuffie allowed 16 catches on 296 total passing snaps in 2021. He’s being projected to go anywhere between 16 to 25 by numerous prognosticators.
Should the Eagles draft Trent McDuffie?
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Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter based in the Philadelphia area who has written feature stories for SI.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com, MLB.com, Deadspin and The Philadelphia Daily News. In 2006, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for a special project piece for ESPN.com called “Love at First Beep.” He is most noted for his award-winning ESPN.com feature on high school wrestler A.J. Detwiler in February 2006, which appeared on SportsCenter. In 2015, he was elected president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.