2023 NFL Draft

TCU QB Max Duggan Has ‘Good Conversations’ With Steelers At Combine

According to a Friday article by the Fort-Worth Star Telegram’s Clarence Hill Jr., the Pittsburgh Steelers met with TCU quarterback Max Duggan. On a Friday interview, he expanded on his meeting with the Steelers.

“I met with the Steelers, had good conversations with them,” Duggan said on his meeting with the Steelers according to the College Football Playbook YouTube Channel. “It’s just trying to get to know who you are as a person. You talk ball and things of that sort, and get to know my knowledge of the game. It’s just building that relationship right now.”

With the likely departure of Mason Rudolph, it is not surprising that the team is looking to bolster the depth at the position. Duggan is often projected as a mid-to-late round pick, which is likely where the team intends to pick a quarterback if they chose to do so.

“Yeah, I think interviews just get to know me as a person,” Duggan continued. “I think, a lot of it shows up on tape, and they kind of have a good feel about who I am as a player. I think really getting to know me, but about who I am behind the scenes, and I think just getting to talk ball, getting to get on the board, talk protections, talk scheme, just kind of getting to learn me as a player a little bit more that you can’t really see.”

If one thing is true about Pittsburgh’s pre-draft process, it’s that they value high character. It is likely that the team’s offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who has a long background in college schemes was present at the meeting. If the team is truly looking for a mid-to-late round prospect to satisfy the need at quarterback depth, Duggan would not be a bad option.

Duggan was the quarterback for a 13-2 TCU team that made it to the 2023 FBS Championship. A 4-star prospect out of high school, he was a four-year starter for the Horned Frogs. In his break-out senior season, he passed for 3,698 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions for a 159.2 college passer rating and 63.7% completion rate. He also rushed for 423 yards on 137 attempts, highlighting his capabilities as a dual-threat. In doing so, he was in the running for the Heisman. Duggan’s physicality is arguably his most intriguing trait as a prospect. At 6’2 and 210 pounds, his arm strength is beyond impressive, and his mobility complements his overall play well.

However, there is a reason that Duggan is not projected to go early in the draft. He enjoyed playing in a friendly TCU scheme, and often played poorly outside of that structure, which will inevitably result in a learning curve in the NFL. Duggan played in the spread system, and will have to showcase an ability to play from under-center, and take on a bigger responsibility in running an offense.

Arguably, Duggan’s athleticism and talent makes him an ideal prospect for Pittsburgh despite any potential learning curve. Needless to say, the Steelers recently used a first-round pick on Kenny Pickett, and Duggan will not be a threat to his starting job. Moreover, it is looking more and more like the team fully intends to keep Mitchell Trubisky at the backup position. Not to mention, the Steelers typically carry four quarterbacks into training camp, and selected Chris Oladokun in the seventh round in 2022.

Therefore, if Duggan is drafted, things would have to have done terribly wrong for him to see the field in his first year. As such, he will have plenty of time to develop his physical measurables into becoming a reliable backup for Pittsburgh, which they will need given that Trubisky’s contract expires after 2023.

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