Four weeks ago, Kyle Dugger was selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft. On Wednesday, the former Lenoir-Rhyne standout became the last Patriots draft pick to sign his rookie contract, agreeing to what is believed to be a four-year deal worth $8.3 million, according to a report by boston25news.com.
Following a decorated college career during which he totaled 237 tackles, 10 interceptions, 36 passes defensed, six forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries, the 24-year-old safety was New England’s first draft choice in the post-Tom Brady era. Dugger played in just seven games due to injury as a senior in 2019, but was still recognized as the Cliff Harris Award winner, an accolade given to the best defensive player in NCAA Division II.
Also a prolific special teams player, Dugger returned 67 punts for a school-record 929 yards and six touchdowns during his time at Lenoir-Rhyne. The Bears were a combined 25-3 over his final two collegiate seasons, reaching the NCAA quarterfinals both years.
The Patriots have signed all 10 of their draft picks and 16 undrafted free agents. After selecting Dugger 37th overall, they drafted Michigan linebacker Josh Uche later in the second round before taking Alabama linebacker Anfernee Jennings, UCLA tight end Devin Asiasi and Virginia Tech tight end Dalton Keene in the third round.
New England’s remaining draft picks consisted of Marshall placekicker Justin Rohrwasser in the fifth round, Michigan guard Michael Onwenu, Wake Forest tackle Justin Herron and Wyoming linebacker Cassh Maluia in the sixth round and Memphis center Dustin Woodard in the seventh round.
Dugger is projected to slot behind veteran safeties Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty on the Patriots’ depth chart. New England signed Chung to a two-year extension earlier Wednesday to create the salary-cap space necessary to reach a deal with Dugger.
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