Max Duggan Draft Profile
If someone was to write a movie about a college quarterback overcoming the odds, that seems like the Max Duggan story. Born and raised in Iowa, Duggan was a four-star recruit coming out of high school. Duggan ended up going to Texas Christian University where he came in and played right away. In his freshman season, Duggan broke TCU’s record for most passing yards and touchdowns by a freshman quarterback. Going into the 2020 season, Duggan was diagnosed with a rare heart condition called, Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, that needed emergency surgery. After the nine hour procedure, Duggan ended up getting a blood clot which meant he needed another surgery. Following his two heart surgeries, Duggan was able to make it back for camp and ended up starting the season opener. In Duggan’s sophomore and junior seasons, he dealt with injuries and struggled to develop. Duggan’s future in the NFL looked grim; it even got to a point where Duggan wasn’t starting going into his senior season. The starter ended up getting injured in the season opener, so Duggan came off the bench in relief. After that, things weren’t the same; Duggan took grasp of the offense and led TCU to the college football championship. It was improbable, but Duggan revived his NFL chances and is now in position to hear his name called on draft day.
Max Duggan is a gamer… there is no other way to put it. He is the poster-child for the word grit; he is a guy you want to go to war with. The first thing that stands out when watching him play is his toughness. It is important to see how players respond to being hit in the mouth, and Duggan never flinches. His performance in the BIG12 Championship was one of the most impressive individual games I have ever witnessed. He was getting hit, play-after-play, but kept getting back up. While TCU didn’t end up winning the game, it was one of the gutsiest performances I have ever seen and I know NFL teams feel the same way. Duggan showed the ability to stand in the pocket and deliver on crucial downs while he was getting obliterated by 300+ lb. defensive-linemen. As a pure thrower, Duggan has the best shoulder turn in the draft. That means he is able to drive the football into tight windows and throw with great velocity. He has a really strong arm and throws a deep ball that gives his receivers a chance to run under it. One thing that doesn’t get appreciated enough about Duggan’s game is his ability to throw from different arm angles, it is something that will get him out of trouble when he has defenders in his face. Duggan isn’t just a pocket-passer, he is a legitimate threat to take off out of the backfield. TCU head coach, Garrett Riley, wasn’t afraid to let him use his legs; the read-option was very prevalent in TCU’s playbook. When Duggan is in rhythm, he is a hard guy to slow down; he’s got a fast trigger when he is in the flow state. I want my quarterback to have some cojones, and that’s exactly what Duggan has. He is a risk taker and embodies toughness. It’s apparent that his teammates love him and rally around him; the excitement that he brings to the game of football is something you can see on tape and I believe it will to translate to the NFL.
Quarterbacks who play with a lot of emotion can be enticing, but also detrimental. When things aren’t clicking for him, he needs to SETTLE DOWN. He gets so caught up in trying to make a play that he forgets about his dink and dunks. It’s like being alone on a fast break where instead of taking the easy layup he goes for the windmill dunk or the three point shot. He gets caught trying to do too much and it caught up to him in the championship game against Georgia. That game was bad… he was flustered; it looked like he was seeing ghosts out there. I don’t want to harp on that game too much, but after things stopped going his way you saw him get hesitant. His hesitancy caused him to take crucial sacks and be late on throws. Outside of that game, my biggest concern about Duggan’s game is his accuracy. He has a tendency to sail passes over his receivers heads or just miss them entirely. While he has great shoulder turn, he also tends to lean back a lot when he taking a deep shot; it’s bad throwing posture. When he is forced out of the pocket, Duggan does a poor job at resetting his base which is another cause of his inaccuracy. He has a bad tendency to throw off his back-foot even when pressure isn’t in his face. When Duggan is on the move, he declares himself instead of keeping his eyes downfield. While I love his toughness, he needs to protect himself better. Duggan is a gamer, and that’s why I love him as a prospect, but there are certain things he needs to be smarter about.
There is no other quarterback like Max Duggan in the class; he is a guy who can win a team games, but he can also lose them games. He would benefit from sitting behind a veteran quarterback who can help sure up his inconsistencies. That is why I think he would be a good fit for the Titans, Giants, and Lions. He is a guy who will somehow always find his way onto the field. I have a second round grade on Duggan because he has the rare intangibles that you can’t teach. The risky quarterbacks who don’t succeed in the NFL are the ones that don’t have that dog in them. The dog inside of Duggan is thrilling; he reminds me of a more mobile Taylor Heinicke. While I am aware of his detractors, Duggan is a guy who I want on my team. If he lands on a team that will help him settle down, I see his success translating to the NFL.
Natural Arm Talent: 10.75/12
Natural Leadership: 9.25/10
Decision Making + Eyes + Anticipation: 7.5/10
Pocket Presence: 7/8
Athleticism + Mobility: 6.5/8
Deep Ball: 4.75/6
Feet + Base: 3.25/6
Throwing Motion: 5.5/6
Toughness + Fearlessness: 5.75/6
Final Rating: 81
Pro Comparison: Taylor Heinicke
Draft Projection: Third Round
Draft Grade: Second Round Pick
Team Fits: Lions, Titans, Giants