The Packers finally address the linebacker position, and select Isaiah McDuffie out of Boston College with the 220th pick in the 2021 NFL draft. The Green Bay front office have stayed true to their board and have been drafting based on needs throughout the draft. In the sixth round, they address the linebacker position and selected a player that oozes with upside and potential.
Production At Boston College
McDuffie had a horrendous 39.9 Pro Football Focus rating in 2020 based on eleven games. However, he is a grinder of a linebacker with a huge motor and produced 77 tackles with 22 assisted tackles. The red shirted Junior had his coming out party in 2020, after producing three sacks, one interception and 6.5 tackles for loss. He played 726 defensive snaps in 2020, after only 656 snaps in the last two seasons combined. Also, he missed most of 2019 due to an undisclosed injury. In total, throughout his four year career at Boston College, McDuffie had 127 solo tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, one interception and three passes defended.
What He Brings To Green Bay
Long story short, he will not start at linebacker in Week 1 as of now. McDuffie has a quick burst and is a dynamic playmaker both in coverage and the run game. At 6’1″ and 224lbs, he has the build of a safety but plays linebacker. Perhaps the biggest knock on him is he has a smaller than ideal build for the position in terms of height and weight. In addition, he’s a below average coverage linebacker with only one interception and four pass breakups in his career. On the plus side, he did run a 4.59 40 yard dash, and plays with immense physicality.
McDuffie joins a linebacker group that already has Kamal Martin and Krys Barnes who were both productive last season. He will most likely start out as strictly a special teams player, but as mentioned earlier has tremendous upside. He plays with a relentless second effort as a pass-rusher and can be shifty as need be. Even being undersized, McDuffie finds a way to defeat blocks. In time, he can further develop his game and make his way to a starting roster spot on defense. Overall, he is definitely a project pick. Although, he does play with great athleticism for his size, and provides promising depth at the position.
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