According to most draft analyst, Kentucky outside linebacker Bud Dupree was expected to be drafted within the first 15-20 picks of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, so the Pittsburgh Steelers feel fortunate that they were able to get a player of his caliber with the 22nd overall selection.
“It’s real exciting that he was able to be there for us at 22. Quite honestly that was something that we didn’t expect to happen,” said general manager Kevin Colbert during the post-selection press conference.”
Colbert was later asked if he was tempted to trade up for Dupree when he was still on the board by the time the 17th overall select of the first-round rolled around.
“As the numbers come together, I mean he was certainly the highest player left on our board, but we had some other options and we looked into maybe trading up,” said Colbert. “But as he kept coming to us, the odds of getting a player we wanted increased and we just waited it out. And so often it happens that a lot of times you just wait it out and there will be a good player there for you and we really feel fortunate that this was one of those situations.”
Even though cornerback was also an early round need for the Steelers, Colbert said he preferred Dupree over any that were still left on the board at that point.
“Absolutely,” said Colbert. “Again, we didn’t expect Bud Dupree to be there at 22 and that was a very easy selection. As we say all the time, were never going to lock ourselves into one position. We want good football players and Bud Dupree certainly fits that category.”
The only cornerback that might have tempted Colbert at that point was Connecticut’s Byron Jones as Trae Waynes, Kevin Johnson and Marcus Peters were all selected within the first 18 picks. It would’ve been real interesting to see what direction they would’ve went in had Dupree also been off the board come time for their selection. Jones wound up being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys seven picks later.