5 best performances by Steelers players at the NFL Combine

Pittsburgh Steelers former inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50)102217 Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers former inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50)102217 Bengals /
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Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree (48). Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /

Former Steelers EDGE Alvin “Bud” Dupree, 2015

If you look up best combine performances, Bud Dupree’s showing at the 2015 combine is likely to show up. Drafted 22nd overall in 2015, Dupree had a solid college career at Kentucky including a career-high 9.5 sacks as a senior. His athleticism was evident on film, but even his biggest fans couldn’t have predicted the numbers he would put up in Indianapolis. He only competed in a few of the tests, but he made up for the lack of quantity with quality.

He had the fastest 40 (4.56) of all edge rushers at the combine and also was top 5 in the vertical (42’) and broad jump (138’) among all players. Not only that, but he posted those numbers standing at 6’4 and nearly 270lbs. Despite all of his physical gifts, Dupree was clearly a work in progress as a pass rusher. He relied too much on beating tackles with pure athleticism instead of using a variety of pass rush moves, and early in his career he struggled as a result.

After having just 18 career sacks and mediocre pressure numbers through his first four seasons, he finally broke out in 2019 with 11.5 sacks. While rushing opposite of budding star TJ Watt surely helped, he still was much improved. He was on a similar pace in 2020 before he, unfortunately, tore his ACL. Now a member of the Tennessee Titans on a big free-agent contract, he struggled again with injuries and was limited to just 3 sacks in 2021. It is too soon to say if he will live up to his deal, but he must stay healthy if he wants to have the chance to prove himself.