The big talk of the 2022 draft was how many defensive players the George Bulldogs got drafted, including multiple 1st rounders. That made it easy to overlook how well the Washington Huskies did too, seeing two of their number go in the top 40 picks. Chicago Bears fans will know Kyler Gordon was one of them at 39th overall, while his teammate Trent McDuffie went 21st to the Kansas City Chiefs.
It isn’t a surprise McDuffie went that high. Across three years as a starter, he was often dominant for Washington. Many compared him to Green Bay Packers Pro Bowler Jaire Alexander with his speed and fluid athleticism. However, certain people believe he might not end up being the better cornerback to even come from his own program. Former Bears scouting direction Greg Gabriel said as much on Sports Talk Chicago with Jon Zaghloul.
His logic is sound.
The only notable advantage McDuffie has over Kyler Gordon is experience. Gordon didn’t become a starter until 2020 and was robbed of playing more games because of the COVID pandemic. He finally started a full season in 2021 and had more interceptions than McDuffie. He has the advantage of longer arms (31 inches to 29 inches) and seems to demonstrate a better natural instinct for playing the football.
Once he hones his craft with more experience, it isn’t hard to imagine him becoming a better professional than his 1st round ex-teammate. If things appear even coming out of college, traits always win out in the pros. Either way, this is excellent news for the Bears. Don’t forget Gabriel had a hand in helping the franchise score some good cornerbacks, including Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher. He knows what he’s talking about when it comes to evaluating that position.
If his prophecy proves true, then the Bears defense is in great shape, with Jaylon Johnson also expected to take another step forward.