Boston College has had five linebackers drafted to the NFL in the last decade. Headlined by Luke Kuechly, players like Matt Milano and Harold Landry have also made significant impacts on the league. Can Boston College linebacker Isaiah McDuffie add his name to that list as he heads to the 2021 NFL Draft?
Isaiah McDuffie NFL Draft Player Profile
- Height: 6’1 1/4″
- Weight: 227 pounds
- Position: Linebacker
- School: Boston College
- Current Year: Redshirt Junior
Tony Pauline’s Isaiah McDuffie Scouting Report
Positives: Slightly undersized, an athletic linebacker with good instincts. Quickly locates the ball, correctly reads the action, and shows good awareness in coverage. Remains disciplined with assignments, gets depth on pass drops, and keeps the action in front of him. Works hard getting to the action, sells out, and wraps up tackling. Displays a great head for the ball and makes a lot of athletic plays.
Negatives: May be tapped out physically and does not possess great growth potential. Lacks elite play speed for a smaller linebacker.
Analysis: McDuffie was a tough, hard-nosed defender who showed athleticism but comes with some limitations. He’ll be a solid run-and-chase linebacker who is best suited on the inside of a 3-4 alignment, and he makes plays with instincts and hustle.
Isaiah McDuffie Player Profile
Although he has flown under the radar in this 2021 NFL Draft class, McDuffie arrived at Boston College as a heavily decorated high school linebacker. Playing under his father at Bennett High School, McDuffie was also a talented playmaker on offense. In his senior season, he rushed for 1,531 yards as a running back while contributing 21 touchdowns.
A two-time USA Today New York first-team All-State honoree, McDuffie’s defensive ability had been apparent early on. He was named the New York Defensive Player of the Year as a junior, and his performances attracted attention from the likes of Penn State. Nevertheless, McDuffie committed early to Syracuse before flipping his commitment to Boston College prior to his senior season.
McDuffie was one of the hottest recruits of Boston College’s 2017 class, and the linebacker showed in his final high school season why the Eagles’ coaching staff were so excited to welcome him to Chestnut Hill. He was named the Buffalo News Class A MVP and Player of the Year as a senior, following a season where he racked up 111 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and 1 interception.
Isaiah McDuffie’s college football career at Boston College
McDuffie arrived at Boston College in 2017, and although he didn’t see time at linebacker immediately, he found a way to make an immediate impact for the program. He saw significant time on special teams, appearing in all 13 games. Additionally, he made 11 tackles on defense, including 5 in the Pinstripe Bowl against Iowa.
That performance would prove to be the catalyst for a breakout sophomore season. Making six starts as Boston College’s strongside linebacker, McDuffie amassed 85 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and 2 pass breakups. Displaying big-game ability, one of his most impressive performances came against Clemson. Furthermore, McDuffie had a standout game against Louisville where he had 8 tackles, 1 sack, and a pass breakup.
Devastatingly for the Boston College linebacker, McDuffie suffered an injury during spring practice that cost him the majority of his junior season. He bounced back strong, however, to start the final three games of 2019. Logging 30 tackles in just four appearances, he had a career game against Pittsburgh that saw him amass 13 tackles — then a career-high — with 2.5 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks.
His reputation as a tackling machine was solidified in his redshirt junior season. McDuffie led all Boston College players in tackles while finishing fifth in the nation. Again showcasing big-game ability, he recorded a career-high of 16 tackles in a single game against eventual College Football Playoff team Notre Dame. McDuffie also secured his first career interception against Duke. Following a successful 2020 college football season, McDuffie declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Isaiah McDuffie’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
McDuffie has reportedly held talks with a handful of teams — including the New Orleans Saints — ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Saints would be a good fit based on his ideal projection as an outside linebacker in a 4-3 system. Other teams that present a good fit for the Boston College linebacker include the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, and Detroit Lions.
Additionally, McDuffie’s special teams’ ability may help him carve out a role on any NFL team, making him a valuable commodity.
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