How many of you had Bill Belichick drafting a Division II player with the team’s No. 1 pick? Put those hands down right now.
Welcome to the New England Patriots, Kyle Dugger. While almost no mock draft gurus predicted the team taking the reigning DII Defensive Player of the Year in the second round his measurables and DNA fit exactly what the Patriots look for.
At the NFL Combine in March, he was the defensive back with the longest arms (32 7/8″), the longest wing span (78 1/2″) and the largest hands (10 3/8″). Dugger said playing at a small school strengthened his work ethic. He said the program at Lenoir-Rhyne isn’t made to produce an NFL player, so he had to take that upon himself.
The view from 30,000 feet: small school athletic freak with a grinder mentality. The Patriots love their grinders.
Here’s some quotes from Dugger from his introductory conference call with reporters Friday night:
“To take the route I took and play for an organization like this is a huge honor. I’m still kind of shocked. I’m that much hungrier at this point. It’s going to be incredible. I want this really bad.”
“As far as the chip, it’s definitely growing a mountain on my shoulder. That’s definitely something that’s going to be permanent. I’m going to carry it throughout my career, as long as I have the opportunity to play the game.”
“I know for a fact that I’ll have a big role in the special teams department. As far as punt returns, if the opportunity presents itself I’ll be given the opportunity and I’ll try to take advantage of it. And that’ll be it. As far as special teams as a whole, I definitely know I’ll have a big role in that.”
Make sure to tune in to Eyewitness News at 10 and 11 to learn more about the Patriots pick and hear from Dugger himself.