The Steelers have a big financial decision to make when it comes to Bud Dupree. Here’s where he ranks among all NFL edge defenders in three key areas.
The Steelers and Bud Dupree seem to be destined for the franchise tag this offseason. Mike Tomlin made it a point in his first press conference following the season to say that Dupree’s extension was a “priority.”
Dupree took a major step forward in 2019. After four underwhelming seasons to start his career, the former first-round pick by Pittsburgh in 2015 managed 68 tackles, 11.5 sacks, and 16 tackles for a loss in his fifth season. But are raw statistics the best way to grade his performance in 2019?
Pass rush grade: 24th
Dupree had his best season to date when it comes to rushing the passer. His 77.7 pass-rush grade ranked 24th among qualifying edge defenders in 2020. However, his 10.1 percent pressure rate ranked just 63rd out of all edge defenders and his 13.1 percent pass-rush win rate ranked 50th in the league.
Run defense-grade: 21st
Even in the years where he seldom got after the quarterback, stopping the run has always been Dupree’s best trait. That trend continued in 2019. The former first-round pick finished 21st among qualifying edge defenders in his run defense grade this year. It’s the most consistent aspect of his game.
Coverage grade: 86th
One of the biggest misconceptions about Bud Dupree is that he is has been great in pass coverage. While he has shown the ability to drop back into zone or stick with a running back from time to time, he has struggled in this area. Dupree allowed 7 of 8 passes to be completed on him this year, and he has allowed 16 of 18 catches over the past two years for nearly 10 yards per catch. His coverage grade of 50.5 from PFF this year backs this up.
Overall grade: 24th
Bud Dupree’s 24th overall ranking among edge defenders is very respectable, and it was by far the best mark of his career (his previous being a 62.6 all the back in 2016). His ability to consistently stop the run and get enough pressure on the quarterback have him ranked just inside the top 25 players in the league at the position.
We can debate whether or not Bud Dupree is worth the massive contract extension he is projected to receive. However, we should all be in agreeance that he is a solid football player.