The 2015 NFL Draft will take place next Thursday night and the futures of many collegiate athletes will be on the line. Tears will be shed, lives will be changed, and NFL fans expectations will soar or sink based on the decisions made.
Our Kentucky Wildcats will likely have at least two guys to have their name called on Thursday and Friday respectively. This draft profile will be of fan favorite Alvin Dupree, or Bud Dupree, as the Big Blue Nation knows him.
Dupree is a 6'4" 269 pound freak of an athlete who will be either a Defensive End or an Outside Linebacker depending on the defensive scheme of the team that drafts him. Most think if he is in a 3-4 Defense, he will be an OLB and in a 4-3 defense he will be a pass rushing DE.
Dupree turned heads with his combine results and cemented his status as a first round prospect with some eye popping numbers. Dupree, at 269 pounds ran a 4.56 40-yard dash. The only linebackers to run a faster time was 25 pounds lighter Vic Beasley at 4.53, and 32 pound lighter Kwon Alexander at 4.55. This says a lot about Erik Korem's high performance system as well.
Dupree also put up an insane 42-inch vertical leap, and an other worldly 11 feet 6 inch broad jump, good enough for third best of anyone at the combine, regardless of position.
Bud Dupree is considered one of Charles Davis' five prospects that will be better pros than college players as well. So, what makes this athletic freak so special, we will discuss strengths and weaknesses below.
Athleticism, Versatility, Power, Character, Explosion on the snap.
Dupree simply out-athletes a lot of people he goes against. To have the size he does combined with middle tier running back speed is special. Dupree grades as a plus in pursuit as well, he never gives up on the play and the desire to make every tackle he can get to is evident.
With Dupree's explosion off the snap and large frame he creates tremendous power and given any head of steam, will plow through any push or lazy effort to block him.
Dupree was moved around a lot at Kentucky so he carries with him a versatility that will be an asset in a league where a man of his ability can be used somewhere on the field for almost any team. Dupree has skills that you cannot teach and as he adds strength, his ceiling would be as a Demarcus Ware-ish player.
Length, Play diagnosis, Lack of Pass Rushing Moves, Breaking Away From Blocks
Dupree is tall, but lacks wingspan and length of most guys his size. He sometimes diagnoses the play a little slow, causing hesitation, but does make up for it with his ability to pursue. Dupree did not need to rely on hand fighting and pass rushing moves in college due to his athletic dominance and this will be a learning curve for him in the pros.
Dupree also had a tendency to be caught up in blocks if the offense was successful in engaging him. Shedding those blocks will also be a learning curve for Dupree. Many think that the difference in Dupree being good vs. great will be the coordinator lucky enough to draft him.
Where is he drafted?
It is pretty much a consensus that Dupree will have his name called on Thursday night in the first round. In fact, he was invited to attend the draft, an honor only 26 total people earned.
NFL.com grades out Dupree as a 6.1 on their scale of 1 to 10, this correlates to an instant starter per their grading.
Dupree could go as high as #4 to the Raiders or as low as #27 to the Cowboys, he will most likely end up closer to #4 than #27 though. The Washington Redskins own the #5 pick and will bring in Dupree in to work out for them as early as Monday.
Most experts expect Dupree to go somewhere between 5-13. No matter who drafts him, they will be getting a specimen with a high ceiling; the rest is up to them.