Trent McDuffie picked at No. 21 by Kansas City Chiefs in first round of 2022 NFL Draft
Washington’s run of NFL-caliber defensive backs has been special. The Huskies have had remarkable secondaries fueled by elite defensive backs—Marcus Peters, Budda Baker, Sidney Jones, Byron Murphy, Desmond Trufant, Kevin King, Taylor Rapp, Elijah Molden…
Trent McDuffie has next.
But, on Thursday night, the 5-foot-11 corner earned a distinction only shared by Peters, Trufant, and Dana Hall (1992). He became the fourth defensive back in Washington History to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. McDuffie was picked with the 21st overall selection by the Kansas City Chiefs.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) April 29, 2022
Washington used McDuffie as both an outside and nickel corner, and that versatility will be an asset in the NFL. As a Husky, McDuffie was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection last season despite not grabbing a single interception. Teams just didn’t throw at him. In 296 coverage snaps, he was targeted only 36 times and only allowed 16 receptions. In fact, McDuffie hasn’t allowed a touchdown in coverage since 2019 (more than 400 coverage snaps).
He was the sixth-highest-graded cornerback in coverage last season among qualified FBS players, according to PFF.
McDuffie wowed during the pre-draft interview process.
“You hear the way this kid just knocked his meetings out of the park, and I’m not talking about one or two teams,” said The MMQB’s Albert Breer, per NBC Sports. “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.”
“I think it comes back to just preparation,” McDuffie said at the NFL Combine in early March. “I spend a lot of time and a lot of energy in learning the plays, developing my skills, honing in my techniques and I always say I’m dedicated to what I do. I think a big part of that is the want to learn all these positions, the want to go out and do something different, to be versatile, to want to play all these different positions. And I think just mentally that’s helped me so much in preparing me to play all these positions.”
McDuffie is joining a Kansas City team that won 12 games last season.