Trent McDuffie film review; How good was the Chiefs' newest starting CB?
Examining the McDuffie's rookie film, which showed a high ceiling and floor for the 2nd-year corner out of Washington.
I’m not going to pretend to not be excited when it comes to Trent McDuffie.
When I reviewed the now-second-year cornerback’s college film (following the Chiefs trading up to draft him in the first round of 2022’s draft), I noted that McDuffie’s tape was absolutely excellent in virtually every respect. The only real issue with his game was that he was (and is) not a big cornerback. Here’s what I wrote in summation about a player who didn’t really show any real flaws on tape:
McDuffie has some question marks that he’ll need to answer early in his career, particularly in his ability to be a contested-ball guy down the field. But he’s got a pretty rare combination of intelligence/speed/quickness/fluidity, combined with a mean streak as a tackler, that give me hope he can be a good corner at the NFL level.
In other words, I was sold on McDuffie as a potentially very good cornerback right out of the gate. And his preseason action did nothing to change that for me. McDuffie was unfortunately hurt in Week 1 and didn’t come back until Week 9 against the Titans. He immediately jumped into a starter role, playing nearly every single snap down the stretch. And he (as well as the other rookie CB’s) earned a lot of praise following the Chiefs’ AFC Championship win (including McDuffie being the first human I’ve seen tackle Ja’Marr Chase as the first defender, which he did multiple times that day).
That said, how did McDuffie perform over the course of the entire season? Does the film match the hype he’s getting coming into year two? The only way to know this, as ever, is to go to the tape.
What matters isn’t a set of highlights or lowlights, but what a player (especially a cornerback) does on a snap-by-snap basis over time. And so I charted every snap of 6 games throughout the 2022/23 season to see how McDuffie performed in the big picture sense, where he won, and where he needs to improve moving forward.
Let’s talk some Trent McDuffie film.