(Editor's Note: While the start of the 2022 NFL Draft isn't until late-April, it's never too early to profile some of the key participants. The staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of the draft's top prospects, with an emphasis on possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie.)
- Name: Trent McDuffie
- Position: CB
- College: Washington
- Height/Weight: 5'10/193
- Did You Know: Washington has quietly staked its claim to being DBU, as McDuffie and his teammate Kyler Gordon figure to become the 11th and 12th Washington defensive backs drafted in the last decade. They'll join standouts like Marcus Peters, Budda Baker, Desmond Trufant and Byron Murphy in the NFL.
Where He's Projected:
If McDuffie was a little bit taller or a little bit longer, he'd be getting his deserved publicity as one of the best corners in this draft class. His only knock next to fellow first-round prospects like "Sauce" Gardner and Derek Stingley Jr. is his 5'10 frame. Underestimate him at your own risk, though. McDuffie is one of the cleanest prospects in this class and has a chance to be a Top 20 pick. If he happens to fall, it would still be a surprise to see him drop out of the first round.
How He Helps The Cowboys:
It's fair to wonder if McDuffie's size limitations would drop his stock in the Cowboys' eyes, given what we know about their preferences. Even still, it's plausible he could be the best player left on the board when they come up on the clock at No. 24 overall. Obviously, cornerback has become a bit more of an issue than it was a week ago, as the legal issues surrounding Kelvin Joseph have thrown his long-term future into question. If they like McDuffie enough to draft him, the Cowboys could insure themselves in that regard while also adding a rookie corner who's talented enough to push for starting time.
Kyle Youmans' Report: "It's hard to find tape as fun as McDuffie's scattered throughout college football the past few seasons. A lightning bolt of a player and a hard-hitter in a compact package. If it wasn't for his 5-foot-10 frame, he would easily be the top cornerback in the draft. Instead, he has to embrace his size and use it to his advantage. Something he does exceptionally well. He can still play the outside, or even work as a nickel defender. A versatility that teams covet."