The Packers added two young linebackers — Kamal Martin in the fifth round and Krys Barnes signed as UDFA — last year, and Ty Summers in the seventh round the year before. Once again, Green Bay has used a late round draft pick to address the middle linebacker position. This time the Packers select 6’1″, 227 lb. Isaiah McDuffie out of Boston College.
McDuffie was the 2016 New York State Defensive Player of the Year at Bennett High School in Buffalo and stayed close to home, attending Boston College. What McDuffie lacked in size, he made up for in sheer will. He is described as the prototypical ‘coach’s son’ — smart, tough and relentless. He used these skills to amass 233 tackles during his four years at Boston College. He worked his way up from a special team standout to a second team All-ACC linebacker. He finished fifth in the FBS in tackles in his last season, adding 3.5 sacks and an interception. Despite the interception, McDuffie is not adept in pass coverage.
McDuffie is a downhill linebacker with his GPS set on whoever has the ball. His size gives concern for his style of playing translating to the NFL, but his instincts are undeniable.
McDuffie will compete with Ty Summers as the third linebacker behind Martin and Barnes. But McDuffie’s biggest contribution to the Packers will be his presence on special teams. The Packers struggles on special teams are well documented, and McDuffie brings new special teams coordinator Maurice Drayton a hard-nose kid that can bring some juice to the lackluster element of the Packers current team.
In joining the Packers, McDuffie becomes teammates with AJ Dillon again. McDuffie was only a special teams guy — then injured for most of 2019 — while Dillon was at his peak with Boston College so it’ll be interesting to see how their relationship builds in green and gold.
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Kirien is a big fan of the Packers, Beer, and Battlestar Galactica. You can follow him on twitter at @KirienSprecher.