Max Duggan NFL Draft: Mock, Projections for TCU Quarterback

NFL Draft

Getty TCU quarterback Max Duggan is rising up NFL draft boards.

TCU quarterback Max Duggan helped the Horned Frogs defy the odds by making the national championship game, and now the standout signal-caller is hoping to do the same heading into the 2023 NFL draft. Prior to the team’s College Football Playoff semifinal matchup against Ohio State, Duggan revealed his plans to declare for the upcoming draft, while also emphasizing his commitment to finish out the season.

“In light of my appreciation, I will be declaring for the 2023 NFL Draft,” Duggan said in a December 18, 2022 statement. “But first, we still have business to take care of.”

Heading into the college football season, Duggan getting drafted was far from a certainty but now the signal-caller could emerge as a potential mid-round pick, per The Athletic’s Dane Brugler. Duggan threw for 3,546 yards, 32 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 63.7% of his passes this season. The Horned Frogs quarterback is also a threat with his legs adding 461 rushing yards and eight TDs on the ground.

“The Horned Frogs’ backup to begin the season, Max Duggan wasn’t a prospect NFL scouts were talking about back in the summer,” Brugler wrote on January 6. “He has flipped the narrative with his play this season and is now in the mid-round discussion. Duggan’s accuracy and touch as a passer tend to be inconsistent, but he makes a handful of plays each game with his mobility and competitive toughness that make evaluators sit up in their seats. NFL coaches will want to work with him.”

Jets Are a Potential Landing Spot for Duggan, Says Analyst

Not everyone is as bullish on Duggan as an NFL prospect with ESPN’s Jordan Reid labeling the TCU quarterback as a potential late day-three pick or undrafted free agent.

The ESPN analyst cited Duggan’s need to “show that he can consistently exhaust multi-step progressions” to improve his draft stock. Reid has Duggan as his No. 15 ranked quarterback prospect heading into the 2023 draft. As for a potential fit, Reid views the Jets as a possible landing spot for Duggan as a “developmental project” beginning his pro career as a No. 3 quarterback.

“The Zach Wilson selection simply hasn’t worked out, but Mike White has been a season-saver,” Reid noted on December 10. “White is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent, though, and continuing to throw darts to find answers under center would be smart for the Jets. They are an ideal fit for Duggan, a developmental project who would enter as a possible No. 3 option.”

Could Duggan Surprise With a Purdy-Like Impact in the NFL?

The emergence of 49ers rookie Brock Purdy, a seventh-round pick in the 2022 draft, shows there is plenty of value in rookie quarterbacks selected in the later rounds. Duggan’s athleticism gives the playmaking quarterback a chance to move up draft boards. Draft Network’s Keith Sanchez cites Duggan’s ability to complete short passes as a potential building block for his pro career. If Duggan’s collegiate career is any indication, the quarterback has no problem exceeding expectations.

“During the 2022 season, Duggan operated well in an RPO offense where the reads are quick in progression, but there are also opportunities for Duggan to push the ball vertically down the field, giving his receiver a chance to make a play,” Sanchez detailed. “Working the short game, Duggan excels at throwing quick screens to receivers with the ability to get the ball out of his hands without completely setting his feet and throwing from multiple arm angles in the RPO game. Duggan also has shown to master the process of the ball fake while reading the defender to make a decision on whether or not to pull the ball or throw it.”