The Pittsburgh Steelers are more than likely going to spend an early-round draft pick on outside linebacker this year and Kentucky’s Alvin “Bud” Dupree certainly seems to be legitimate candidate when it comes to possible first round targets. In a recent episode of the MMQB podcast, long-time draft analyst Greg Cosell of NFL Films talked extensively about the top-rated pass-rushers in this year’s draft class and that included him breaking down Dupree.
“I don’t think Alvin Dupree is a true pass rusher and I spoke to an SEC coach that played against Kentucky, and he told me that they never worried about Dupree as a pass-rusher,” said Cosell. “I know we’re talking about him as one for the purpose of this conversation and he’s certainly very athletic. He’s one of the most athletic players at his specific position in this draft. Now, he could become a good pass rusher in the NFL because he has initial quickness, he has that secondary quickness after the initial move and he can run. He has closing burst and speed.
“Dupree, to me, gets into that discussion of natural pass-rusher versus made pass-rusher. I’m not sure he’s a natural pass rusher and that’s a hard thing to define. You sort of know it when you see it and I hate to say that, but it’s kind of true. I’m not sure that Dupree is a natural pass rusher. I actually thought that the better comparison for Dupree, given his athleticism, was Jamie Collins of the New England Patriots. I think Dupree is a high-level athlete, who would fit better in that kind of role.”
Being as several people seem to be concerned about Dupree’s lack of consistency at the college level, Cosell was asked if he’s seen it and more importantly, if he has, is he worried about it. Cosell went on to answer that question by talking about how Dupree was used by the Kentucky coaching staff.
“Bud Dupree was not used as a pass rusher a whole lot,” said Cosell. “He was used in a variety of ways. He was used as a complete linebacker, he played in space an awful lot and he was very good at it. So, you have to wonder if in college they didn’t see him as a pass-rusher, then maybe he’s not real good at it right now.
“Now, can you teach guys moves? Sure you can, but at this point he has no real moves as a pass rusher. His explosion off the ball, because he’s so athletic, suggest that he could develop into a speed-to-power rusher, but he does not showcase sort of the natural pass-rush skills that you’d like to see, so he may not be that guy.”
In short, Cosell says Dupree was indeed an inconsistent pass rusher but that’s not what Kentucky was going for with him.
“Bud Dupree was not a pass-rusher a high, high percentage of the time that he played,” said Cosell. “He was used in a variety of ways and he’s incredibly athletic and that jumps off the film. And that’s why iI think ultimately, combining his athleticism with the way that he was utilized, made me think of Jamie Collins.”
It’s intersting that Cosell compares Dupree to Jamie Collins, who was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second-round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Southern Mississippi. During his college career, Collins registered 21 sacks and 45 tackles for loss.
Dupree recorded 23.5 sacks during his college career to go along with 37 tackles for loss. While the Steelers were present for Dupree’s March pro-day, the 6-4, 269-pounder has yet to come in for a pre-draft visit. That could change very soon, however.
Is it possible that NFL teams really consider Dupree to be a second-round player just like Collins wound up being? The two really have similar measurables. We’ll know the answer to that question in a few more weeks.