Pittsburgh Steelers Select Bud Dupree in 2015 NFL Draft: Instant Reaction


Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was pretty crazy. Am I right, Steelers fans? Didn’t see that one coming, did you? I am sure you figured that they would draft an outside linebacker.

However, the fact that they went with the former Kentucky Wildcat at number 22 overall is downright fantastic from a value and overall need perspectives.

Outside of the combination of Shane Ray and Markus Golden, Alvin “Bud” Dupree teamed with Za’Darius Smith to form one of the best pass rushing duos in the SEC during the last two seasons.

A three-year starter for the Wildcats, Dupree recorded 226 tackles, 21.0 sacks, 34.5 TFLs and 4 FFs from 2012-2014.

I know that the Steelers wanted to add more athleticism to the edges of their defense, and I am still shocked that a raw yet talented prospect like Dupree fell this far. Apparently Dupree’s deficiencies in terms of  gaining consistent pad level, disengaging from blocks, taking proper angles in the run game and sometimes lapses in tackling form did not deter Pittsburgh but did 21 other teams drafting before them.

I for one am excited that the Steelers selected Dupree (6’4″ 269 lbs.). As I mentioned previously, Pittsburgh is desperate for athleticism and explosiveness at outside linebacker. Thankfully, the former Wildcat star can provide just that. Dupree has great speed, good agility, can bend the arc well on his speed rushes, has active hands, and showed the ability to turn speed to power on his pass rushes.

While still raw, Dupree has the potential to hold his own in pass coverage and should develop into an every-down outside linebacker once he cleans up his technical issues.

Dupree can instantly contribute as a situational pass rusher, and he would immediately be the team’s most athletically gifted outside linebacker on their roster. I applaud the franchise for recognizing the best pass rusher left on the board. Moreover, I am excited to see how they address the deep cornerback class tomorrow.

Grade: B+

Next: AFC North Browns Selection

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