After Landing Versatile Dupree, Steelers Move On To Day-Two

After posting such mind-boggling numbers at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine in February, it was clear Kentucky’s Bud Dupree was going to skyrocket up draft boards. Some even had him mocked in the top ten picks. However, as the Pittsburgh Steelers round one selection crept closer Thursday night, it became clear who they would take between the athletic phenom or two other edge rushers, Shane Ray and Randy Gregory, with loads of off-field problems.

His size is something he brings to the table to a Steelers’ outside linebacking corps in need of some talent, but it’s his measurables that stick out like a sore thumb. He ran a 4.56 in the 40, at 269 pounds. That’s faster than most of the running backs in attendance, some of which are 50 or so pounds lighter. He showed off his explosiveness with a 42-inch vertical jump, and his 138-inch broad jump was the longest by a linebacker since Jamie Collins, with whom NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compares him to.

“We’re really excited,” Steelers GM Kevin Colbert told Bob Labriola of Steelers.com. “The other day during the press conference we talked about the outside linebacker position being very deep with several impact players and we believe we got an impact player in Bud Dupree. It’s really exciting that he was able to be there for us at No. 22. Quite honestly that was something we didn’t expect to happen.”

After posting those numbers, scouts went back to the game tape and likely saw some inconsistencies to his game. However, after playing in a variety of defensive schemes over his tenure at Kentucky, he still put up numbers, with 23.5 career sacks, including 7.5 in 2014. With athletic gifts such as his, putting his locker directly next to James Harrison would be a very smart idea.

“He had a lot of questions about James Harrison, not only the player, but the professional,” Mike Tomlin said.

Being taken under Harrison’s wing (or massive lat muscle) would do wonders for Dupree, and allow him to see what the work it takes to become an NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

With Dupree’s size, one would naturally associate him with another former Steelers outside linebacker, LaMarr Woodley.

“That’s why, really, when you watch him work out as we did at his pro day, you had to keep reminding yourself that this guy is 6-foot-4 and 269 pounds,” Colbert said according to Steelers.com. “He doesn’t look that big until you get up close to him, and you figure this guy is a big guy. ”

Unlike Woodley though, Dupree doesn’t have a belly hanging over his game pants, and doesn’t appear to have very much body fat at all on his frame. Tomlin doesn’t see a whole lot of correlation between the two players, as Woodley was a 4-3 defensive end making the transition to standing up in the Steelers’ scheme, whereas Dupree has done both already.

“Bud has played on his feet and played detached from the core,” Tomlin said. “He showed a much wider variety of skill set on his college tape. You can find some comparisons in terms of measurables or weight. It really kind of ends there.”

Now, onto day two of the NFL Draft festivities, there is a tremendous amount of talent still left that should be there when the Steelers go back on the clock again, barring a trade, at pick 56. In the second round, names such as Eric Rowe, Landon Collins, Maxx Williams and Jordan Phillips could entice the team if any slip to their pick. A dark-horse pick, in my opinion, is wide receiver Jaelen Strong, who was brought in for a pre-draft visit. I liken this situation to the 2011 draft, where the Packers, in the second round, grabbed Randall Cobb, seemingly a luxury pick considering they had a glut of receiving talent in Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and the ageless wonder, Donald Driver. The Steelers seem to be set too at their three spots with Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton but who’s to say they won’t pull a similar move?

A lot of pundits will clamor the second-rounder ABSOLUTELY has to be a corner, but that’s exactly when Colbert and company will throw out a curve ball, and do what they do best, take the best available, just like Dupree. It’s a pick myself, and Steelers fans alike should be rejoicing, because if his hard work can match his unlimited physical talents, the team will have the steal of the draft and a truly special player on their hands.

“He can surely play the point,” Colbert said. “He can power rush. He can speed rush. He can put moves together. He can rush off of two feet or out of a three-point stance. And he can cover. So really this is a gift for us to be able to get this guy at pick twenty-two.”

  • steelmann58

    I like Strong that way our Offense can put up 40 points a game and hope the defense hold teams under that number.i then would target Golson in the 3rd love his ball skills

  • steeltown

    Funny reading some of the comments on the Steelers Team website, a lot fans not happy about this pick, most citing the selection should’ve been CB or S and that Tomlin and Colbert are “idiots” -It just makes me laugh, some fans are very dense to the draft process and the their own Team as a whole.

  • I think you’re right that the second pick for the Steelers can be a luxury one, and I’ve got Strong in mind as well, assuming Rowe, Maxx, and others like that are gone. Indeed, if Rowe isn’t around, I’d be fine waiting on CB until the third. While there is good OLB value in the second, it would appear — e.g., Harold, Smith, Orchard — the CBs seem to be either first-round or third-round talents. Maybe Rollins and Rowe are in the middle, along with one or two others, but I’m not sure that’s where the value is. I’d rather wait for the third to get someone like Carter, Nelson, or Grant, assuming at least one of them is still around.

    In any event, there’s a lot of talent left on the board, and hopefully the Steelers will have multiple good options available to them when it’s their turn to pick this evening. With Dupree already in the fold, I’m really excited to see what the trio of picks from the first two days will be.

  • Alas, those people don’t have the benefit of the education we receive at Steelers Depot.

  • steeltown

    Very Very True

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    You can easily tell the difference between people who have only been fans and those of us who played in High school/college or coach now lol

  • Paddy

    Just heard Ron Cook of the PGH Gazette and 93.7 Fan wondering if Bud is “quick enough” , thats what I call a lazy reporter and talk show host. Why wouldn’t you as a radio host know everything about the Steelers #1 draft pick?

  • Paddy

    I would look at Alex Carter of Stanford in the second

  • steeltown

    I’m really thinking guys like Rowe, L.Collins, J.Collins, Golden and Strong will be gone, even after the crazy Day1 i’m going to take a more realistic approach to this Day2-

    Rd2: Clemmings, Rollins, Maxx, Phillips, Carter, Coates are definite possibilities

  • JNick

    More and more I can’t stand The Fan. The morning show is about the only thing that’s tolerable and that’s because of Miller and Colony. Philliponi, Mueller, Starkey are all annoying and ill informed. Ron Cook is just an old curmudgeon and doesn’t “know” much beyond Baseball.

  • Tone Bone

    Agreed… i think if we get Golson in the 3rd would be ideal…

  • That’s still a good list, realistically speaking. I’d go Maxx there, but then I’m a fan.

  • Heather Danis

    If no one else does, watch New Orleans take him at 44

  • Bill Sechrengost

    No matter what position the Steelers draft tonight, they will get two more good players, with the depth of the draft the way it is. Like everyone else, I’m hoping that one (or two) of them will be a cornerback. I can see a run on OL in the second round (there are still some very good ones out there). I can also see a run on RB’s happening, as well. That can only help the Steelers have players fall to them they can use.

  • Heather Danis

    I hope he was joking

  • Heather Danis

    I really hope Strong but don’t think he gets by the top 5 of 2nd round

  • Lucas Campbell

    true…if Colbert can do one thing VERY WELL tho it’s mine for WR gold in the later rounds..

  • Richard Kim

    Idiots…
    Especially with Wayne’s, Peters, and Johnson off the board.
    We’re a blessed orginization

  • Heather Danis

    Yah. TEN needs WRs for their new QB, TB too, and JAX needs a bookend WR opposite the one they got last year for their young QB.

  • RMSteeler

    I also look for QB’s Petty and Hundley to be taken in the top half of the second since no trades were worked out in the 1st, and maybe QB Grayson in the 3rd. Too bad the QB position is so shallow this year.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    I think that is too high for any of those QB’s, but I agree that some team will probably reach for them, like they usually do for QB’s.

  • Rick M

    Have to admit the word “luxury” made me flinch. We still have a lot of work to do on D. A good first step though last night. As for CB, I’ll trust other people’s opinions re: players of value in the 2nd round. I would say however that waiting until the 88th selection to go CB seems to be tempting fate.

  • You might be right. I don’t see him falling to the Steelers regardless.

  • Jason White

    I’m gonna say today is the day they get a corner and a receiver. I am curious to see which corners fall to them and whether that makes them look to someone like Jaelen Strong or Sammie Coates in the 2nd and then look at Doran Grant or Steven Nelson in the 3rd. I wouldn’t complain one bit if they got a combination of those players. If for some reason Eric Rowe is there at 56 overall the I consider that a gift just like Dupree being at 22. Today is equally as big as yesterday.

  • As a Steelers fan who isn’t in Pittsburgh (however much I love the city!), I don’t know much about the local media. I used to read the PPG and the Trib all the time for Steelers news, but now I find I benefit far more from this site, the podcast, and following some of the major reporters on Twitter. Some of the reporters are fine, but a lot just seem to be going through the motions — but that’s the same everywhere. (You should hear the hockey reporters here in Toronto — what a joke.) Obviously many of these guys don’t do any research and base everything on “conventional wisdom” or preconceived notions. Honestly, can you imagine any of these guys sitting down in front of YouTube for hours looking at film, let alone breaking it down. I get far more that’s valuable from many of the “amateur” commenters on this site.

  • Rick M

    Mayock has Petty rated as 68th on his Top 100 players and Hundley at 77 which corresponds more to late second round and early third round. But as you say, QB-need may drive one or both up. Maybe the Jets will go with one of them at 38.

  • thomas hmmmm

    Jax is set on WR’s with Robinson, Lee and Hurns. I dont see Jax going receiver again. They should focus on oline and secondary. RB might be a good choice for them also. I’ve never been a fan of Gerhart

  • Milliken Steeler

    I’d grab the kid out of CSU Pueblo. Big QB, canon for an arm and guided them to the championship although division 2. Can be had in the sixth or 7th round also, which is nice. If, we wanted another QB to develop anyway.

  • thomas hmmmm

    I’m amazed that Dupree dropped to us at 22. I wonder now if they consider double dipping and picking up Orchard or P. Smith if they fall in the second. If I had a choice of the two I would chose Smith. Forget corner at this point if either of those two fall. Solidify the OLB spot.

  • Rick M

    Lol, I agree. Kovacevic used to be pretty good, but he’s gone on his own. Of all the guys, Cook is the one that I agree with the least. As for you having to read countless stories about the Leafs, you have my deepest sympathies. I have nothing against the Leafs, but they don’t give their fans much to cheer about.

  • Mark 4 Steelers

    Baring a trade up (unlikely to happen), Strong will be long gone when the Steelers pick. As seen again last night, there has been a persistent early round run on the CB & WR positions in the draft for the last 3 years. I would be amazed if the Steelers pass on a CB in round 2. But, I was (unpleasantly) amazed last year when they passed on CB early.

  • Sonny Saks

    Move up and give up a 3 pick for Rowe??

  • steeltown

    No personally, far too much talent in Rd3 to give up that selection.

  • Jason White

    I wonder if they take Dupree’s less athletic teammate Za’Darius Smith later on . Or just look to someone like Kyle Emanuel.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    I am sick to death of hearing callers on the radio (or reading comments online here and there) saying that the Steelers MUST keep this draft strictly to defense. Wrong. That’s terrible advice. Not only should they be picking for the best value (not reaching on positions of need), but to ignore the offense when it is THIS close to becoming something truly special (dominant, even)…especially when Ben’s best years are here NOW…is ridiculous.

  • Mark 4 Steelers

    Those that think CB should have been selected don’t understand the Steelers’ system & mindset. I am 89% certain OLB would have been 1st pick even if Waynes, Peters & Johnson were all still on the board. As I have stated in others posts, the Steelers 3-4 system is built around the Linebacker position. The whole defense of a 3-4 breaks down if the LB crew isn’t able to disrupt the offense. Quality CB play is absolutely needed, but the team’s success lives & dies with the LB position. If you don’t understand that, then u r a fan of the wrong team. You might like the Black & Gold colors…but you don’t bleed Black & Gold :o)

  • Mark 4 Steelers

    I predict the Steelers go CB, TE, CB in next 3 rounds (baring a unique talent floats downward to alter that).

  • Kovacevic seems to have an independent streak that I like, but often he just seems to try to present opposing views to be a Devil’s Advocate. I don’t mind Kaboly and Bouchette, even if the latter is a tad cranky, but often I feel like I’m just getting the corporate line from them.

    Thankfully, I’m not a Leafs fan, so I can spend my time making fun of the crazed fans here — it’s a great hockey market, I’ll admit, but I despise the fans much like I despise the team. I’m from Montreal, so I’m a Habs fan, obviously. And that’s a much more noble calling.

  • steeltown

    Yep, we could use OL,TE, RB and WR… any or all of the aforementioned could be selected this weekend.

  • I take your point. I mean “luxury” not so much in that we can just take anyone, but rather in that there isn’t necessarily an urgency to go for any single need position — and in that the Steelers can also add to a position of strength, like WR, or build for the future, like OG to replace Foster after this year.

    Again, if someone like Rowe or Rollins is around for us in the second, that would probably be a good place to take a CB. Waiting another round could limit the options, for sure.

  • Watch out for the falcons too. Really, a few teams probably have their eyes on him….what would be terribly annoying is if Cincy takes him.

  • Mike Frantz

    This. The way our defense is built, it really only allows the LB’s and maybe one Safety to be playmakers. The rest of them really have to play assignment first (and second). Everything is designed to create opportunities for the LB’s to make plays. The fact that we invested in Timmons and Woodley and an aging Polamalu (and departure/aging of Harrison) to be those playmakers is the reason for the D’s decline. Timmons is solid, but not really a playmaker. We’re overpaying him really for what he brings, IMO. Our defense won’t be great unless we have great LB’s. We can manage with solid CB’s and solid DL.

  • Rick M

    🙂

  • Yea I’m with you Steeltown….I like Rowe a lot but we should be looking at 2 more good players on our team by nights end if Colbert/Tomlin do a good job.

  • Mike Frantz

    Agreed. Not a 3rd. But maybe a 4th? Certainly a 5th. If he slides to within a few picks and we need to jump Phil to get him? I do it.

  • Mark 4 Steelers

    The production of WR’s is a direct relationship of the QB play & offensive scheme. The Steelers’ system with Roethlisberger makes average WR’s good & good WR’s great. That’s why every year we loose a WR who gets PAID elsewhere but then they never live up to their billing with a different team / system (exception made for Burress who did well with Manning). Rule #1 in Fantasy: never take an X-Steelers’ WR who leaves & goes to a different team. They are NEVER worth the pick needed to get them.

  • Mark 4 Steelers

    That’s like asking if Obama is Liberal enough…

  • Mark 4 Steelers

    I see them taking (targeting) James in 3rd.

  • Lucas Campbell

    I could see Jax grabbing Yeldon or David Johnson

  • Lucas Campbell

    Not sure how high the team is on Maxx…been reading a lot lately of how selfish he’s came off in team meeting pre-draft

  • Jonny Panic

    He’s about as socially and economically Liberal as Nixon, the whole political spectrum has shifted towards conservatism in the past 25 years.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    I was just re-watching some tape on Sammie Coates, and it it dawned on me that he had a QB in college (Nick Marshall) who plays very similar to Big Ben. He scrambles around in the pocket or out to his right to keep the play alive, and he LOVES taking those deep shots (very strong arm).

    Coates is not only groomed for the long ball (he led in yards per reception, I believe…and has 4.4 speed), but he’s physical, too. And he plays big. This kid is not afraid of contact at all.

    More and more, I’m really liking the idea of the Steelers grabbing him—even if that means with their second pick.

  • steeltown

    Also Emmanuel Sanders… but also a Manning

  • Mark 4 Steelers

    The Steelers would get an A+ in the Draft if they were able to ‘land on’ Landon Collins – SS in Round 2 then come back & get PJ Williams – CB. That would require a few trades but they would address 90% of their needs with top quality, young players. (I know, Dreaming Big here)

  • steeltown

    Lately, i’m thinking more Heuerman or Jesse James in the 4th Rd

  • Heather Danis

    Me too. Folks have convinced me that the team should be able to fix his concentration problem on the routine catches so I’m game if they go that route. However, I’m hesitant until we get a CB if one we like is there in 2nd. Would rather trade up in 3rd but game nonetheless.

  • Lucas Campbell

    I think Phillips is a dark horse…passes the eye test and another freak athlete, 330 pounds and can do a standing backflip. I’ve read Maxx has turned a lot of teams off in pre-draft visits. Again, Colbert will take the BPA approach, and except for RB, QB and ILB i think any position is up for grabs

  • Heather Danis

    It wouldn’t shock me if they chose to do that with an eye to not touching it next year when JH retires

  • StrengthOfVictory

    And that much, I understand. It’s difficult to tell how the second round will unfold. It may “even out” to where we expected it would be on paper, or more gems could continue to fall. Call me the last person who thought the Steelers had any chance at Dupree, so nothing would shock me at this point.

  • Mark 4 Steelers

    Sanders, I think, is over rated even with Manning. But yes, Manning makes him look better. He is the perfect example of a player who has benefited by the system & QB combination…not the other way around. AB is an exception to what I said about WR’s in the Steelers system…he is a great player who helps the Steelers & QB (Roethlisberger).

  • Quin

    Not out of need but I believe the cornerback and offensive line positions have the best value in the second round and after that there is a big drop off. The only defensive lineman I like is Eddie Goldman at this stage in the draft. The could opt to double dip at edge rusher if they don’t have faith in Jarvis Jones on the right side all though I don’t think they will go this route. Bell is coming back after his suspension which is 3 games at worst so I think drafting a running back this early would only be wasteful unless the team wants to commit to being run heavy next season. There are a lot of good receivers left, but the Steelers have had luck finding them in later rounds, and how things sit now that player would not be higher than 4th on the depth chart next season if everything goes to plan. As for the safety position I believe there is still value there in later rounds.

  • steeltown

    I’m not the biggest Sanders fan, but I’ll give credit where its due 101rec. 1400yds and 9TDs (72% rec.) in 2014 is damn good.

  • stellarsfan

    I agree with your rd 2 options but I really wouldn’t be surprised if the steelers felt they had to snag Harold or Orchard if either of those two were available. I’m not sure if I’d be happy but as long as we double dip at corner later, I could live with that

  • stellarsfan

    Rowe, Collins, Strong, Harold, Maxx, Clemmings in round 2

    Rollins, Orchard, Alex Carter, Amos, Nelson, Marpet, Coates, Lockett, Walford in round 3

    Please.

  • Sonny Saks

    Scheftner reporting steelers looking to move up to Titans 1st pick in round 2

  • Sonny Saks

    Collins?

  • steeltown

    Wow, you’re right I just saw that as well…

  • Sonny Saks

    I say go get your guy if they feel immediate type starter..

  • steeltown

    Could be either of the Collins’ or Goldman maybe?

  • Sonny Saks

    Scheftner is usually accurate with his info..

  • steeltown

    Just the fact that they’re ‘interested’ is interesting

  • Sonny Saks

    Could be steep price prob 3rd and 5th?

  • CoreyInTheHouse

    Golson is too short. Rather have Alex Carter or Steven Nelson

  • RMSteeler

    Very lean on QB’s this year and there are a few “reachers” in the top third of the teams selecting. I’ll bet Bryce Petty will be the first to go tonight.

  • James Kling

    Carter/Nelson R3, Golson R4?