Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site: http://www.observer-reporter.com/section/BLOGS08

Friday, May 01, 2015

Bud Dupree and other thoughts

Regular followers of this blog know I am no Bud Dupree fan. I see his athleticism and size and know why a team would want to select him in the first round.

What I didn't always see in the tape that I watched was production. And that's kind of important.

Apparently, the 21 teams that picked ahead of the Steelers on Thursday saw some of that as well. That's why a guy who many saw as a top 10 to 15 pick fell to 22.

The Steelers certainly had a need at outside linebacker. They need production out of the outside linebacker position to make their defense work.

But I don't know that Dupree will be anything more than a situational pass rusher this year - and maybe even in the future.

Now, everything the team said about him following the draft says they feel they can mold him into an every-down player. And perhaps they can.

But I see a player who lacks good football instincts when it comes to diagnosing things quickly. Again, maybe that can be worked on.

The ceiling is high on Dupree. He could be a game-changer in the DeMarcus Ware mold. But he could also be the next Huey Richardson.

He's a project in the first round and I'm not big on taking projects in the first round, especially when your most important player, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, has a Super Bowl window that is closing.

@ Who would I have taken? Byron Jones was a nice, safe pick for a team that is in need of defensive backs.

Like Dupree, Jones is a freakish athlete. But Jones' game tape is much better than that of Dupree.

@ That said, the Steelers will definitely focus on the cornerback position on day 2 of the draft. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me to see the team take a pair of corners in the second and third rounds.

At the very least, they will likely take two in the top four rounds.

Who's available? I like Eric Rowe, Quinten Rollins, Josh Shaw, Doran Grant D'Joun Smith and Senquez Golson. Alex Carter would also be solid, though safety might wind up being his best position.

There's also some other guys, such as Jalen Collins, Ronald Darby and P.J. Williams who will likely go in the second round, though they have some off-field red flags.

So with the 24th pick in the second round, the Steelers should be able to get a corner who might help this season.

GM Kevin Colbert also said a trade up in the second round is possible since the team has seven picks remaining in the final six rounds - if there's a player the team has to have and a run on corners starts.

39 comments:

Patrick said...

I think they'll try to trade up 5-6 spots to get Rowe.

Agree with everything you said on Dupree. One thing that concerns me, and I'll admit this is slightly silly, between Jones, Shazier and Dupree, which of them have any attitude? I'm not asking for 4 James Harrisons, but none of them strike me as a guy who can really get in a dog fight with the Ravens. Maybe Vince Williams can be that guy, but he is not in the picture like the above 3 are.

datruth4life said...

Dale, I understood your feelings on B. Jones but I think the Steelers realize they are not taking a finished product here. He's essentially a big piece of clay for Porter and Keith Butler to work with. I feel much better have my pass rusher in house and then having to find some CBs in the 2 -4 rounds in this draft.

I think we will see K. Colbert trade up to try ad get CB E. Rowe from Utah. No way is he going to fall to the Steelers with the 24th pick in the 2nd round. After Rowe, my other 2nd round CBs I like are J. Collins, Darby and D. Smith. If the Steelers can come out of the first 3 rounds tomorrow night with Dupree, Rowe and Tre McBride, then Colbert would have hit a homerun for the first 3 rounds.

I do admit, I don't want to trade up in this draft with only having 8 draft picks, but the way this team cuts it mid-round picks, it's probably for the best to target a player they want, go get him and save us fans the agony of them cutting another 5th round CB early.

Tom said...

I am so glad I'm not the only one who loves Eric Rowe for this team. He is going to be one hell of a player in this league. I would also be okay with the Steelers trading up a few spots for Jaelen Strong.

Tom said...

Dale, any chance that if there's a run on CB's early second round, that the Steelers would consider Nate Orchard or Eli Harold in the second round? (I'm also counting Maxx Wiliiams off the board as well as Jaelen Strong) i could see the steelers taking Miami TE Walford, but they could probably get him in the third...maybe the steelers will settle with Rollins or Carter from Stanford.

Marc said...

I think they wanted nothing to do with Ray. I would have picked jones, but it's quite possible he was not even their next highest rated CB on their board. That, imo is why a trade down there would have been great. Oh well, Dupree at least has the talent, and the new DC was the linebackers coach for many years, so there must be something there they really like.

Anonymous Brian said...

How old is Dupree? If he's got some project in him, it's better if he's, say, twenty-one instead of twenty-four.

Speaking of which, it sounds like he's the exact opposite of the Jarvis Jones pick on the workout v. tape question.

Theosa said...

In Steelers system linebackers takes time to learn and I do not recall anyone in recent history that produced immediately so taking a project with that kind of talent is prefectly fine with me. We can be skeptical as to why Dupree was still available at 22 but to me LBs were not in great demand we all thought they were. And more than 22 teams passed on Byron Jones so they must have saw something in him too. Steelers must have felt Dupree was just too good to pass on at that spot. The guy is a good character with great work ethics, and a James Harrison fan, I give this pick an A.

Anonymous said...

I love you, Dale, but you'll be eating crow over this post in only a few years. The guy was a beast on a bad team and played a variety of spots across their defense. He will benefit from better coaching. He is a Harrison fan and will provide the edge we covet. It's a home run, boys. --Mike

Anonymous said...

Love this pick and have a few points:

1. The guy may look lost on tape at times, but I trust our coaches more than the coaches at KY. Guys can grow as players once this becomes their job, lest we forget that.

2. Although a different position, a great comp is Dontari Poe. A athletic freak who had worse looking tape than Dupree. Sometimes looked like he had no idea which way the play went. He received good coaching and quickly became dominant.

3. Dupree's value at 22 is incredible. If you look at his measurables, he actually tested better than Jadaveon Clowney did last year, at basically the same size. Clowney did nothing his last year at SC, and still went #1.

4. Still plenty of good CB's left.

Marc said...

after reading up more on Dupree, I came across interesting comments that he was asked to play several different positions for Kentucky throughout the course of the season. makes you wonder if that resulted in hesitation seen on tape.

also, after watching some video of him, he is fast and can change direction quite well for his size. I don't see many sweeps around his side of the field.

time will tell, but I like the pick a bit more now.

Qwikdoc said...

What if Maxx Williams is there when the Steelers pick in round 2? Do they stay with CB or take BPA which would be Williams? The thought of Ben throwing to Williams is exciting.

datruth4life said...

Tom, I think the 2nd round is when you go and get the player you want. We've been told for weeks by Gerry Dulac that the Steelers love Eric Rowe as a CB. I'm sure they were very surprised that Dupree lasted until pick 22 and decided that they could maybe have a shot at Eric in the 2nd round. It'll be interesting to see how far Jalen Collins and P.J. Williams drops. I think Gregory will be taken early today, probably by Tennessee.

I read where Shane Ray said he's going to remember every team that passed over him in the draft. Well, how about you not fail a drug test while at school, have medical questions about your big toe and get caught with Mary Jane 3 days before the draft. What a dummy! Kinda glad that he is the Broncos problem to worry about and not the Steelers.

Regardless of need, what is the one player you'd like the Steelers to take in Round 2 if he was there? I know the Steelers need CBs badly, but Eddie Goldman would be a magnificent pick if he was still there in the 2nd round. That's only a dream, though. I bet he's gone in the first 5 picks today.

datruth4life said...

Dale, who is your pick for the Steelers today in the 2nd and 3rd rounds?

Marc said...

datruth,
goldman would be awesome, but they would have to trade up to get him, which would deplete their ability to get a decent CB, imo.

I do hope they take whatever steps necessary to get Rowe though.

AndyR34 said...

Dale - Production is not necessarily the end all to be all...Jarvis had plenty of production in college...so far, not-so-much. DuPree was moved around a lot @KY...didn't always have a chance to rich the QB a lot...sort of like Woodley and Worilds both complained about.

Anonymous said...

"Apparently, the 21 teams that picked ahead of the Steelers on Thursday saw some of that as well. That's why a guy who many saw as a top 10 to 15 pick fell to 22."

Boy am I glad we don't take draft advice from the teams worse than us. I always thought drafting a player that most people should have gone sooner was BETTER than drafting a player that's still on the board because no one would ever have considered drafting him that high.

"But I don't know that Dupree will be anything more than a situational pass rusher this year - and maybe even in the future."

And what defensive player would have more than a situational role with us as a rookie? Byron Jones?? Any CB would likely see even less playing time than an OLB.

For what it's worth, Dupree is considered by most to be the best run defender out of all the top edge rushers. To me that makes him the least situational guy we could have taken.

Marc said...

the future of the steeler's LB core is looking awfully fast and athletic. got to like that. combined with the dline of tuitt/heyward/mclendon/mcullers and the front seven is quite formidable for the next several years.

emac2 said...

I would trade the 4th round pick to move up in the 2nd and 3rd.

I hate to lose the pick but don't want to miss the top of the second round and moving up in the third will make a big difference as well.

Dale Lolley said...

Shazier has some edge, Patrick.

I don't see them taking another OLB prospect. Colbert as much as told us that last night on the radio.

Dupree is 22. In fact, he just turned 22 in February, which fits the Steeler' MO.

A corner has a lot better chance of playing for this team this year. Look at what they've got there.

I'd pass on Maxx Williams. Too great a need at corner to take a receiving tight end, IMO.

As for targets today, I think the guys I mentioned in the original post would be solid.

rvaccare said...

Dupree's tape does not look good, particularly against top opponents (e.g., Florida), which is exactly what he will be playing against. He looks out of place a lot, cannot get off blocks well, and seems to take the play off when he is out of position rather than hustling behind the play. I do hold out hope that all of this was a result of poor coaching and poor supporting cast in a bad football program. His measurables and athleticism are fantastic, but this Thoroughbred needs to be reined in and I see him as a project ala Jarvis Jones who is more likely mediocre than worthy of a first round pick. I sure hope I am very wrong!

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

I have also heard that Dupree is quite good against the run, that can't be bad. Dale, were do you see Rowe going, more exactly how much would it cost the steelers to trade up for him?

datruth4life said...

Dale, do you think Rowe will make it to them at 56 or do you think they will have to trade a pick to go up and get him? J. Collins could be there if teams are spooked by his foot surgery and that he liked the Mary Jane in college. Rollins is a safety to me, especially if you're running a 4.6. If they don't move, then maybe Darby is the pick. I think Carter might be a reach in the 2nd round.

Joe Jones said...

Agreed. Landing Rowe would be franchise altering.

Jalen Collins at our spot wouldn't be bad either. Love Rowe tho.

Marc said...

I'm not sure the steelers will be able to trade up for rowe. many teams still in need and it would cost a lot.

Tom said...

Rowe is worth trading up to get in my opinion because he can play safety or corner. Even though I know better than to think that we would actually trade up.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that Dale picked Dupree to get picked at 6 in his last mock draft.

Marc said...

Rumors on the radio here in Cleveland that the steelers are trying to trade up to the first pick tonight.

datruth4life said...

Adam Schefter is reporting that the Steelers are looking to move up and that the Titans and Bucs are looking to move down and collect more picks. I seriously think the Steelers are interested in moving up for CB Eric Rowe.

K. Colbert said in a interview last night that the team would be interested in moving up if it thinks it can get a player that it had a first round grade on in the 2nd round. I agree with him. If you think a guy is a difference-maker, go get the guy you want.

Anonymous said...

As long as they don't move up for tight end

Dale Lolley said...

I think they would have to trade up to get a shot at Rowe.

I had Dupree at 6 because of the off-field issues with some of the other pass rushers. I've said all along that I didn't like his tape. Hell, my initial mock draft, I didn't have him in the first round.

But, again, the athleticism is undeniable. I just don't think he has good football instincts.

Zeke R said...

Time to trade up and get Rowe.

Marc said...

No kidding.

Zeke R said...

Great

Marc said...

knew eagles were taking Rowe. Darn it.

Zeke R said...

I'm going for Max now.

Zeke R said...

This is BS!

Zeke R said...

Interesting pick, high praise from the announcers.

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

Wasn't it a bit of a reach?±

Zeke R said...

I don't know if they reached, but without moving up I didn't have an opinion. They guys I wanted were gone.