Alvin “Bud” Dupree
In the past I took a look in the digging for gold series at players that were either fringe 1st rounders or 2nd and 3rd rounders. Today we are going to take a look at a player that fits a need for the Saints and by all accounts is a top 15 talent ~ Alvin Dupree.
The Saints in the Sean Payton era have never taken a defensive end this early, in fact you would have to go back over 20 years for the last time the Saints drafted a defensive end this early – the 13th pick in 1994 Joe Johnson. That’s not to say the Saints wouldn’t pull the trigger on a DE, they snatched up Cameron Jordan back in 2011 but I think that had more to do with Jordan falling in their lap. Remember when the Titans, Jaguars and Vikings made their foolish runs on horrible quarterbacks? The Locker, Gabbert and Ponder mistakes greatly benefited the Saints in regards to drafting Jordan.
They won’t need the luck of a sliding player this time around, there will be a stud defender sitting there for them at pick #13. Which brings us to Kentucky defensive end Alvin Dupree.
A little Background on Alvin “Bud” Dupree
Kentucky recruited Dupree as a 3 star (Rivals) prospect out of Wilkinson county high school (GA) where he was a two-way athlete. He played tight end where he racked up more than 1000 yards receiving (10 TD’s) as a senior along with 10 sacks he recorded while playing defensive end. Dupree was also on the basketball team at Wilkinson county high that won a state championship. When he arrived at Kentucky they quickly put him at full-time defensive end (and sometimes linebacker) because he would see the field faster – which he did, playing in twelve games and starting three as a freshman.
In his Sophomore year Dupree started 12 games registering 91 tackles (12.5 for loss) and 6.5 sacks. In Dupree’s Junior year he finished with 61 tackles (9.5 for loss) and 7 sacks. Dupree returned for his Senior year and didn’t disappoint racking up 74 tackles to go along with 7.5 sacks. Overall Dupree finished his career at Kentucky with 247 tackles and 23.5 sacks, not bad for a guy who was a tight end coming into Kentucky.
Just by looking at those numbers you can see that the consistency is there but what you don’t see is how he became a 1st round talent. From everything I can gather Dupree is an extremely hard worker often staying after practice to hone his craft. Throughout his career at Kentucky he was used as both defensive end and outside linebacker. Dupree may need to add some more bulk if he wants to handle those big NFL tackles if he is drafted strictly as a defensive end. This past year he added about 15 more pounds from the weight room to bring him to 267 lbs, he may need to get up to around the 280-290 range.
What I’m seeing
There is a lot to like about this young man most notably his pass rushing skills and his ability to drop back in coverage. Whether he’s standing up or has his hand is on the ground his closing speed is exceptional. Not only is his acceleration to the quarterback good but also as a sideline to sideline tackler against the run and spread option. Below is a clip I made showing his closing speed as he hits Mississippi state QB Dak Prescott right as he’s throwing the ball resulting in an interception.
In this next clip again I go back to a Mississippi state game where Dupree blows up the play with his quickness off the line and his relentless pursuit of the very mobile Dak Prescott.
One area in Dupree’s game that could use improvement in my opinion is his run defense. When an offensive lineman squares away with his block on him, while he doesn’t give up ground, he doesn’t gain much either. It’s not that he’s a bad run defender, he decent but he may need to refine his technique going up against more powerful NFL linemen. Below is a clip against Louisville were the defender locks up Dupree just enough for the runner to slip through for the score.
That last clip was nit picking because truth be told Dupree doesn’t have many glaring weaknesses in his game. Whoever drafts him (please be the Saints) is going to get a pass rushing specialist, heck not long before Louisville scored in the above clip Dupree did this to put Kentucky up….
Alvin “Bud” Dupree is going to make some team very happy, this young man has the potential to be the next Jamie Collins or be an edge rusher in the mold of Robert Quinn (they are almost the exact same size) In my opinion the Saints top needs are LB, OL, DT, DE (Cornerback in free agency) Dupree fits two of the four needs.
Dupree excels in rushing the passer, is decent dropping into zone coverage and with a little work can be solid against the run. With the pending NFL discipline hanging over Junior Galette’s head the Saints might be more inclined to take a speed rusher with the 13th overall pick and I would be pleasantly pleased if the Saints pulled the trigger on Dupree. He’s a name that you are going to hear a lot of on the next level either in Black and Gold or with some other team, let’s hope that he is doing his sack dances in the Superdome come next fall.