New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 28, 2021: Kyle Dugger #23 of the New England Patriots walks onto the field during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 28, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

There were few rookies in the NFL in 2020 who exceeded expectations more than Kyle Dugger. The second-round pick out of Division-II Lenoir-Rhyne made an immediate impact for the Patriots defense, that caught the attention of fans both locally and nationally.

However, there’s one notable standout who wasn’t impressed by Dugger’s rookie season – Dugger himself.

“Below average,” Dugger replied, when asked to evaluate his performance in 2020. “That’s really all I can say. It was fun to get the experience and be out there, but it wasn’t a great year.”

It would be hard to find anybody who watched the Patriots last year who would agree with what Dugger said on Thursday. Once he starting seeing regular playing time he was one of the team’s best defensive players, and is a popular candidate for a breakout year in 2021.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.