If the New England Patriots are planning to bolster the secondary early in the upcoming NFL Draft, they could have some interesting options at No. 21 overall.
One potential pick is Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie. What the 5-foot-11, 195-pounder lacks in size he more than makes up for with his versatility. Most mock drafts have him being selected toward the end of the first round or the beginning of the second.
On a new episode of the Next Pats Podcast, Albert Breer joined Phil Perry to discuss why McDuffie would be the perfect fit for a Patriots team that needs to improve its secondary heading into 2022.
"Is he a big, long, athletic prototype like Sauce Gardner or Derek Stingley? He's not that," Breer said of McDuffie. "He's a little shorter. He played more zone than man in college.
"But you hear the way this kid just knocked his meetings out of the park, and I'm not talking about one or two teams. It's every single team I've talked to has said the guy's Mensa level when it comes to explaining football, explaining what he was doing out there, you see the versatility. Again, didn't play heavy man for a first-round corner in college, but has experience having played both, so you have that versatility."
Breer believes McDuffie has some similarities to a current member of the Patriots secondary who happens to be a three-time Super Bowl champion.
"It sort of reminds me a little bit of the way people talked about Devin McCourty coming out of Rutgers," Breer said. "And so, I don't know that it's a perfect comparison player-wise; I don't think McDuffie's as big as McCourty was coming out in 2010, but just as far as the mental makeup, the traits, the versatility.
"Trent McDuffie sounds to me like a perfect Patriot, and it happens to dovetail with a very real need. You need a guy who can develop into a No. 1 corner, and if you believe McDuffie can become that, I think if he slips to the Patriots he'd be a slam-dunk at 21."
Also in the new episode: Breer discusses the uncertainty around the top of this year’s NFL Draft class and what that might mean for the Patriots, as well as the changing perspective on the value of defense in today’s NFL. Jason Poe discusses his impressive pro day performance, his journey to NFL prospect and the experience of playing against Alabama while at Mercer. And Perry breaks down his latest Patriots seven-round mock draft