He was voted as the best collegiate QB in 2022, but does TCU QB Max Duggan have a top 2023 NFL Draft scouting report as well? Top CFB performers and top draft prospects aren’t always synonymous, but Duggan may have several traits that could prolong his career at the next level.
Max Duggan NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Quarterback
- School: TCU
- Year: Senior
- Height/Weight: 6’1 1/2″, 207 pounds
- Length: 30 3/8″
- Hand: 9 7/8″
The highs and lows of college football naturally have a way of testing you. Few quarterbacks have been tested more — over the past four seasons — than Duggan.
Duggan quickly became a household name for TCU, starting games as a true freshman in 2019 after arriving as a four-star recruit. He’d hold that starting spot for three seasons, in fact, as the Horned Frogs fluttered around the .500 mark.
In 2022, TCU sought an upgrade and held an open battle between Duggan and former Oklahoma transfer Chandler Morris. Morris became the starter entering the regular season, while Duggan was relegated to the backup role.
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No one would have faulted Duggan if he chose to transfer out. But instead, he remained in Fort Worth, kept working, and waited for his next shot. He wouldn’t have to wait long. Duggan was soon thrust back into the lineup in place of Morris, and he took full advantage of his new opportunity.
Duggan embarked on a redefining campaign in 2022, completing 239 of 368 (64.9%) passes for 3,321 yards, 30 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. His Horned Frogs made the College Football Playoff at 12-1, and Duggan himself won the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the best QB in college football.
Duggan led his team to the National Championship against all odds and expectations. And while that showing against Georgia was less than ideal, Duggan’s collegiate career was one for the storybooks. Now, what else does his football journey have in store for him in the NFL?
Max Duggan Scouting Report
- Athleticism and escapability
- Solid arm elasticity
- Downfield touch
- Flashes of eye manipulation
- Can operate the quick game
- Steely competitive toughness
- Clutch on crucial downs
Areas for Improvement
- Uncontrolled lower and upper body mechanics
- Frantic nature in the pocket
- Inconsistent pressure detection
- Struggles with inaccuracy
- Non-elite arm strength
- Lacks consistent anticipation
TCU QB Max Duggan Current Draft Projection
In spite of his late-career success, Duggan grades out as a fringe draftable 2023 NFL Draft prospect and potential PFA. Opinions will vary on the threshold at which he’s worth selecting, but he’ll likely land in the late-Day 3 range for most.
Duggan does have a degree of natural talent, and his leadership value and competitive toughness are very appealing qualities. Those traits, in particular, are often valued in quality backups and rotational QBs — a role Duggan could eventually fill well.
Duggan’s athleticism is a particularly strong selling point. The TCU QB was a productive runner in college who frequently kept drives alive with his legs. And at the NFL Combine, his athleticism was confirmed by his 4.52 40-yard dash, 30.5″ vertical, and 9’8″ broad jump.
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Unfortunately, past the toughness and mobility that makes Duggan so easy to root for, his projection becomes complicated. While he’s a great athlete, he’s not an elite creator, and he can be inconsistent sensing defenders. While Duggan has decent arm strength and solid elasticity, his arm talent is far from elite and puts a cap on his ceiling.
Duggan’s non-elite arm talent would be less of an issue if he consistently compensated with mechanics and processing. But his mechanics are far too uncontrolled at this point. Duggan’s feet are often staggered and frantic — sometimes preventing full rotation — and his lower body issues can tug his shoulders up and down, causing inaccuracy.
With Duggan, you know you’ll get 110% if he needs to come in as a pinch hitter, and that’s valuable. That’s why a team may choose to spend a sixth or seventh on him as a potential backup. Duggan has the requisite talent to fill that role, but he needs to keep refining his mechanics and lower his pulse in the pocket before he can be fully relied on.
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Max Duggan
Strengths: Competitive and athletic signal-caller who is patient in the pocket, senses the rush, and buys time for receivers. Spreads the ball around using all his targets, easily gets outside the pocket to elude defenders, and loses nothing throwing on the move.
Keeps his eyes downfield, takes the safe underneath outlet if nothing else is available, and always remains poised. Possesses a live arm and gets passes through the tight spots. Legitimate threat to pick up yardage with his legs and gives effort on designed quarterback runs.
Weaknesses: Tends to stare down the primary target and is slow going through progressions. Inconsistent with his pass placement. More thrower than passer.
Overall: Duggan was a great story at TCU and helped lead the program to last year’s national championship. He possesses a next-level arm, yet he needs to work on his fundamentals from the ground up before he’ll be ready to take a snap in the NFL.