Here’s a name you may not recognize. Kyle Dugger, the safety out of Lenior-Rhyme, has been gaining traction as a riser throughout the 2020 NFL Draft process.
Dugger played on the field for Lenior-Rhyme for five years, standing out from the very beginning. Throughout his time playing safety for them, Dugger racked up 237 total tackles, 10 interceptions, 36 pass breakups, six forced fumbles, and six fumble recoveries.
It took a long time for Dugger to be noticed by NFL scouts. But once he was noticed, the scouts started coming in droves. His frame, size, and speed gave them a good idea of how his game could project to the NFL level and they were encouraged by the possibilities.
When the Senior Bowl came calling, however, was when Dugger would get his chance to show he was up to the challenge of competing with NFL bound competition. The entire week in Mobile, Alabama, Dugger was on fire. Competition constantly struggled to get open against him and his fiery play caught everyone’s attention.
NFL.com’s Chase Goodbread wrote about Dugger’s journey from small-town superstar to NFL hopeful back in November of 2019. In it he detailed the time and effort it took to get on the NFL’s radar.
In the story, Goodbread even mentioned that the Detroit Lions were one of the teams on site the night Dugger made a good impression. In the game that Lions scouts were attending, Dugger had five tackles (one a touchdown-saving tackle showcasing his speed) and even blocked a field goal.
Dugger would bring more than just defensive play to the Lions as he is an experienced kick and punt returner who does a good job of planting his foot and getting upfield. Over his time returning for Lenior-Rhyme he has multiple return touchdowns as well, including one game where he housed two of them.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller pointed out Dugger as one of the best players at the Senior Bowl and stated that his size and athletic prowess allowed him to blanket tight ends in coverage. He was also able to keep up with receivers as well.
Dugger can do almost anything you want from him. He can play in the box, he can rove the deep part of the field, and he can rush the quarterback from time to time. Perhaps most importantly for the Lions, he can fit anywhere on the defense and he is very good at creating turnovers. Matt Miller specifically picked the Lions as one of the best team fits for Dugger and with his versatility and ability to create turnovers it’s no wonder why the Lions would covet such a prospect.