2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles: TCU QB Max Duggan

From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling TCU QB Max Duggan.

#15 Max Duggan/QB TCU – 6014, 207 lbs. (Senior)

Senior Bowl/Combine


Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Max Duggan 6014, 207 9 7/8 30 3/8 N/A
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
4.52 1.55 7.26 4.45
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
9’8” 30.5 DNP


— Lacks great height but fills out frame and has big hands
— Accurate on crossers/shallows, able to hit a moving target with arc and touch
— Goes through progressions and able to hang in pocket, mobile but doesn’t immediately look to run when first read isn’t there
— Makes most of his throws from within the pocket
— Eyes and feet largely connected through his progressions and keeps his base
— Able to scan whole field and willing to come off first option
— Athletic and uses legs to his advantage, able to extend the play and used on QB designed runs
— Tough runner who will sacrifice his body but also knows when to slide to avoid a hit, doesn’t take unneeded contact
— Handles interior blitzes and rushes well and still able to make plays in the face of pressure
— Works better with short and underneath game
— Offensive system wasn’t super gimmicky and wasn’t based around RPO/screen game that inflated numbers
— Overall good ball security and isn’t a fumble-risk
— Tough player and willing to play hurt
— Respected locker room leader and won big games, team went on great 2022 run to National Title game, loved by coaches and the program
— Had good week of Senior Bowl practices
— Productive career and excellent starting experience

The Bad

— Lacks ideal height for the position, a bit squatty body type
— Accuracy and game severely diminishes when asked to throw vertical and drive the ball downfield
— Inconsistent accuracy on vertical throws, arm is maxed out around 50 yards and underthrows too often, even to wide open targets
— Will miss badly on sideline throws, ugly throws that sail wide
— Needs to throw underneath routes (curls/outs) with more anticipation, doesn’t throw it until after receiver breaks, allowing DBs to jump throws and break up/intercept passes
— Has trouble consistently hitting targets in the middle of the field, passes tend to sail and get thrown high
— Doesn’t have great feel for edge pressure
— Hangs in pocket but could do better to hitch up into the pocket, will drift and get too much depth at top of his drop and make life harder on his tackles
— Will make risky throws in critical moments, red zone/own goal line, when under pressure and try to do too much when his receiver has no chance to make a play
— Under-center work limited to QB sneaks, vast majority of work came from shotgun (did work more from under center in high school)
— Will come with durability concerns, battled leg and knee injuries throughout football career and has medical history teams must check out
— Poor career completion percentage
— Struggled against top-tier competition
— Team was .500 club until 2022


— Turned 22 years old earlier this year, made 43 career starts for Horned Frogs
— Career: 739/1225 (60.3%), 9618 yards (7.9 YPA) 73 TDs 28 INTs, also 1856 rushing yards with 28 scores, also had two career receptions
— 2022: 63.7% completion rate, 8.8 YPA, 32 TDs 8 INTs
— Led team to 13-2 record in 2022, made College Football Playoff, upset Michigan before getting blown out by Ohio State in National Title Game
— Four-star recruit from Council Bluffs, Iowa, chose TCU over Georgia, Iowa, Notre Dame, and many other schools (24 total offers), named #1 player in his state by Rivals
— Received scholarship offer from Iowa in 10th grade as a sophomore, considered a rare move by the school
— Finished 2nd in Heisman Voting in 2022 only behind USC’s Caleb Williams
— Third in school history in career passing yards, second in career passing TDs
— Recorded over 3300 yards from scrimmage senior year of high school (2100 passing, 1200 rushing), with 49 total touchdowns (25 rushing, 24 passing), also caught a TD pass
—2018 Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year
— High school head coach was dad, Jim Duggan, who played QB at South Dakota from 1980 to 1984, retired from coaching after 2018 season when Max graduated
— 3.53 high school GPA, part of school’s student council and got involved in community programs
— Born with heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, required nine-hour surgery in 2020 that put “catheters through my neck and groin,” had blood clot complication two days later and needed emergency surgery
— Played 2021 season with broken foot and torn tendon, required surgery after the year
— Broke left fibula in 2017 high school state playoffs, also had ligament damage to his ankle

Tape Breakdown

Duggan’s in the mix to be a late-round quarterback, a college star who took TCU to the National Championship Game before a crushing defeat against the Georgia Bulldogs. While he’s considered an underdog, he was a top recruit out of high school who turned down big-time schools to go to TCU, saying he wanted to go to a team in a metro area. The son of a coach, Duggan has always had football success. Always been a winner, though he’s also always fallen just short, losing to Xavier High School in the 2018 State Playoffs, too.

Duggan shines brightest when throwing crossers, shallow crossers and deep overs. He makes plays in the face of interior pressure and is able to lead targets on the move when he doesn’t have to drill the ball on a line and can more float it downfield. A couple examples of some big-time throws.

Of course, Duggan is athletic and uses his legs well. He isn’t reliant on them and looks to make plays from the pocket first but it’s an asset and he can extend the play or scramble when things aren’t there. But he’s not a run-first guy. Duggan shows the ability to scan the field and go through full-field reads. Examples below.

Overall, he was productive and shows good carriage of the football and wasn’t a fumble threat. He’s tough and a leader and will forever be beloved by the TCU program, one of the school’s best players in modern history and their best QB since Andy Dalton. Duggan is ultra-tough and played through injuries, though the number of knee and leg and ankle injuries he’s had dating back to high school is concerning. The heart condition he had seems to be a non-issue but you can bet teams will be doing their homework on him medically.

Taking it to the tape on the negatives, Duggan fell apart when asked to throw downfield. Poor accuracy, passes off-line, overthrown, he’s spotty when asked to really drive the ball. His arm strength is below average and looks maxed out at about 50 yards.

Heck, even the completions, like the TD shown above and a deep ball against Georgia, are underthrown, forcing receivers to slow up and turn their back away from the ball.

Just as bad is his lack of anticipation. He’ll try to throw into tight windows but some of that is self-created. He’s got a bad habit of being late on curls and outs, allowing CBs to routinely jump them. A cut-up of his biggest mistakes. He has to get the ball out before the receiver breaks, not after. It sure won’t get any easier at the NFL level.

And he was late on this end-of-half interception in the loss to Georgia.


Overall, Duggan is a tough gamer-type who works best with the underneath game. He’ll compete hard and use his mobility to his advantage and he’s able to run a pro-style system, even if he doesn’t have much recent experience under center. Though it’s a bit cliché, the West Coast system is his best fit. His lack of downfield ability will doom his chances to start and he’ll have to battle to be a backup. Despite his historic success, I see Duggan as a classic great college QB who won’t translate that way into the NFL. My pro comparison, though Duggan is a touch taller, is former Notre Dame QB Ian Book.

Projection: Late Day Three-Priority Free Agent

Depot Draft Grade: 6.0MED – Priority Free Agent (Undrafted)

Games Watched: vs Michigan (2022 – playoffs), vs Georgia (2022 – playoffs), vs Kansas State (2022), vs Texas Tech (2022), Senior Bowl

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