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Round 6: Pick 220; Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College


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The Draft Network bio:

A high school running back and linebacker, Isaiah McDuffie initially played safety at Boston College before transitioning and settling into the linebacker position where he started for 2.5 seasons. McDuffie’s best year came in 2018 and he never built on that season. When studying McDuffie on film, it’s easy to notice his functional athleticism, quickness, fluidity, and urgency. He’s a good athlete that is hard-charging in pursuit and plays with the game with great enthusiasm. McDuffie is an excellent tackler that aims low, wraps, and rarely comes up empty. From a physical traits perspective, he has the ability to play in space and coverage. With that said, McDuffie has to become a better processor. While he makes quick reads, they are often incorrect. Compounding matters is that he often plays the game through a straw and struggles to get off blocks. McDuffie has many of the characteristics of a matchup linebacker in a 4-3 defense where he can cover, play in space, and pursue, but he has a long way to go in terms of play diagnosing and processing. McDuffie was a steady presence on special teams at Boston College and that is probably his best chance of sticking at the next level to give him a chance to develop as a linebacker. 

Ideal Role: Developmental WILL linebacker, special teams contributor. 

Scheme Fit: 4-3.

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Dane Brugler guide ... looks like a good value pick.

 

STRENGTHS: Active tone-setter because of his play speed and aggressive motor…covers ground with open-field acceleration…makes plays at both sidelines…quick to key and flow, understanding football geometry to stay ahead of blocks…faces up the ball carrier and runs his feet at contact to drive through tackle attempts…smooth weight transfer to turn and run with backs in coverage…has some pop in his upper half to shed tight end blocks…flashes a closing burst as a blitzer…son of a coach and wired right for the position (BC head coach Jeff Hafley: “He’s got the right attitude, the right makeup, the right mentality”)…high-volume tackler, averaging 8.2 tackles per game the last three seasons.

WEAKNESSES: Slightly smaller frame and lacks ideal length or growth potential for the position…struggles to extend and take on climbing blockers…tends to react before reading, leading to wasted steps…will occasionally arrive too hot and needs to stay disciplined as a tackler…struggles to get his head turned to locate in coverage, leading to premature contact downfield…his combative play personality will show itself past the whistle, leading to fouls…missed most of the 2019 season after knee surgery during spring drills.

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Boston College, McDuffie played weakside linebacker in head coach Jeff Hafley’s 4-3 base scheme. After missing most of the 2019 season with a knee injury, he returned strong in 2020 and finished fifth in the FBS with 107 total tackles, averaging 9.7 tackles per game. A run-and-hit style defender, McDuffie is an alert, determined chaser who looks to tune up his target. However, he needs to improve in coverage and struggles to match up against climbing blockers with his average size. Overall, McDuffie needs to play with better discipline, but he only knows one speed and flies around the field with a touch of insanity to him. He projects as a special teamer and linebacker depth.

GRADE: 4th-5th Round

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3 minutes ago, incognito_man said:

seems like a wasted pick lol

Pretty similar player to Krys Barnes, RAS isn't the end all be all. He's a better football player than Oren Burks. 

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2 minutes ago, Packerraymond said:

Pretty similar player to Krys Barnes, RAS isn't the end all be all. He's a better football player than Oren Burks. 

his RAS doesn't bother me, it's the "he's good at making fast decisions but often they are the wrong decisions" part lol

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