Trent McDuffie - DB - Washington
Welcome to the rookie profile for Trent McDuffie. McDuffie is a playmaking cornerback who can play in multiple schemes and is a fun player to watch, he’s everything that you would want from a corner except for his length albeit he does play much bigger than his 5’11 size. McDuffie is a very good athlete who possesses jet-like explosiveness and good speed and performs best in zone coverage but just as talented in man coverage.
Height: 5′ 11″
Weight: 195 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.42s
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
Bench Press: DNP
McDuffie was a four star recruit out of St. John Bosco High School, California. He was in high demand by the top college programs and ultimately chose the Washington Huskies.
Choosing Washington proved to be a good decision as McDuffie made an instant impact as a freshman, playing 752 snaps and starting 11 games. He put up an impressive 45 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and an interception. After a good start to college football McDuffie was considered for the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman Player of the Year Award.
Unfortunately, in 2020, due to COVID the Pac-12 season was shortened to just four games. He did however dramatically improve his QB rating when targeted, in 2019 he gave up a less than impressive 94.3 rating however in his sophomore year he upped his productivity and finished with a 52.1 rating when targeted, chipping in with 14 tackles a forced fumble and an interception which led to McDuffie receiving second-team All-Pac 12 honors.
2021 saw McDuffie continue to improve his QB rating when targeted, finishing the season with a 52.0 rating, on 36 targets. McDuffie played 702 snaps on the year and chalked up 35 tackles and his first collegiate sack. After an impressive campaign McDuffie received first team all-conference honors from coaches in the Pac-12, PFF and West Coast CFB.
McDuffie athleticism, speed and explosiveness are elite level and make him a unique cornerback. Watching him chase down a play from behind is always fun and he will catch up with receivers due to his excellent straight-line speed, and won’t be beaten by many. His previous experience at wide receiver gives him great defensive instincts on the other side of the ball allowing him a few yards head start before the ball is thrown, combining this with his actual speed is unreal.
McDuffie is one of the best tacklers in this year’s cornerback class and will receive comparisons to the likes of Jalen Ramsey for this part of his game. An energetic tackler who is far from tentative in his approach and has an explosive burst when hitting at the contact point. Tidy in his pursuit and doesn’t overshoot angles. He will make big plays and can force fumbles, generating turnovers. When he is one on one in the open field, I’d edge my bets that McDuffie will bring the receiver down.
McDuffie in coverage is just as effective as he is in the tackling game and he’s physical in the press, matching the aggression from receivers. In man coverage he is excellent at mirroring receivers whilst keeping an eye on the quarterback, identifying routes quickly. He’s always aware in the red zone and stays on the back line to take away fade throws and will make quarterbacks pay for late throws, especially given his previous experience as a receiver in high school, it shows as he has excellent hands to haul in any opportunities.
McDuffie’s versatility will be his biggest selling point as the draft draws closer. Not many corners can perform equally well in both zone and man coverage.
As much as his aggressive approach in zone and man coverage on short routes is a huge positive, I fear that we may just see NFL Quarterbacks throw it over the top. Whilst versatile in coverage his scheme versatility could be an issue as he may be a concern in press coverage.
His size may see him get beaten by the bigger receivers in the league, he will need to strengthen up his frame to help him win against the bigger receivers on the NFL stage. This may concern NFL coaches as we have a stacked cornerback class, especially when you compare fellow prospects Derek Stingley Jr or Ahmad Gardner to McDuffie in terms of their size and frame.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 1
I think we will see McDuffie fall towards the mid to late part of the 1st round. The Raiders will be targeting the cornerback position especially as they haven’t had too much look at the position of late and with Casey Hayward Jr a pending free agent it will be an area that they’ll look to address. McDuffie’s ability to play man and zone will be desirable for the Raiders and will allow him opportunities immediately as well as seeing him paired with Trayvon Mullen and Nate Hobbs, forming an exciting trio of corners.
The Raiders will more than likely miss out on other corners such as Kaiir Elam, Ahmad Gardner and Derek Stingley Jr as I have them projected ahead of Trent McDuffie.