Trent McDuffie is one of the cornerback prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft where what's on the paper may not tell the whole story. While he may lack the preferred size teams like in a corner, McDuffie plays bigger than that measurable and brings plenty of athleticism and competitiveness to the field as well. The result is an appealing package that should interest many teams on Day 2 of the draft, if not earlier.
(This profile is one of 230 featured in the Athlon Sports 2022 NFL Draft Guide. With in-depth scouting reports on the top prospects, position rankings, and more, no source will have you better prepared for draft day. Purchase a copy online today, the digital edition for instant access, or look for it on newsstands everywhere.)
Trent McDuffie Draft Profile
McDuffie fits the mold of defensive backs Washington has been churning out for the NFL: on the small side, but fast, instinctive and incredibly feisty. He’s a twitched-up athlete with quick feet and tremendous change-of-direction ability, an efficient mover capable of mirroring quickness underneath. While he doesn’t have the prototypical size teams are looking for at the position, he plays big. He’s physical and effective in press coverage, with quick hands and excellent balance, and he competes hard at the catch point, with the explosive leaping ability to contest throws above the rim. He’s very willing in run support, and he dislodged the ball for three forced fumbles over 28 games. He has the versatility to line up inside or out, and coaches will love his competitiveness and football character.
He doesn’t have a ton of ball production — part of that is the fact that teams threw away from McDuffie last season — but even when he was targeted more often as a freshman, he came away with only one interception. And the lack of prototypical length will turn some teams off, as it leaves little margin for error running downfield and outside the numbers, where quarterbacks will be able to fit throws over his reach.
As a pure boundary corner, there are others in this draft class with a higher ceiling, but McDuffie’s ability to move inside as well and match up with quicker receivers underneath gives him a level of versatility that others don’t have. He has Pro Bowl potential due to his movement skills and tendency to play bigger than his listed size, but that ability to line up in multiple spots gives him a fairly high floor for a defense that needs it.
Final Grade: 1st Round