I have never been a scout or a NFL General Manager, but I am willing to watch a ton of football. By watching about 200 snaps of each prospect, we can really get a feel for a player and then know what we are talking about a bit better. It is no exact science, but the NFL hasn't quite figured out drafting either, so we are going to do the best we can.)
Alvin "Bud" Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky - 6'4, 264 - Age 21
For the 2nd day in a row, let's check out a fantastic pass rusher from the SEC East. Bud Dupree is a 4-year starter at Kentucky who has grown into one of the more exciting pass rushers in this draft. He was not a guy who was on my radar a year ago when we started sorting through the names for the 2015 draft, but in becoming familiar with what he brings to the table, he is another guy who might be in the mix for the Top half of Round 1 if he has a nice spring.
He annoyed the Senior Bowl (along with several others) by opting out of this week in Mobile as we are sure he was advised that he had "more to lose" by going, but a quick view of his tape indicates that he might be right. For his report, I watched Kentucky play Mississippi State, Missouri, and Louisville.
What I liked: In watching edge rusher after edge rusher in this portion of our study, it is clear that some just have the tools and technique to get the corner naturally and with ease. Bud Dupree has a certain element of "DeMarcus Ware" to his game and is as natural as you would hope. He explodes off the snap and around a tackle at times and on his day is one explosive play after another. He also had several occasions this year where on run plays he would jump through a gap before the guard/tackle could close the window and be on the running back as he takes the hand-off, leading to a tackle for loss and a forced fumble. As you know, I am always looking for relentless chasers with motors through the whistle, and in the games I watched, I was very impressed with how badly he wanted the tackle. He is just a terribly impressive athlete who has traits that cannot be taught. It would seem that he can develop into a real game-breaker.
What I did not like: There are moments where you want more. As impressive as he is, his production level of only 7.5 sacks in 2014 and 7 sacks in 2013 does make you wonder. He really looks like he has a gear he can find at any point, but in watching 200 of his snaps or so, I would have guessed I was watching a 15 sack season this year. That did not happen for him. His scheme will again be important, but, like Ware, when we are talking 6'4 and 265 before he enters the league, he can do either. I would not assume I want him chasing Darren Sproles around too much in coverage, though. His run game instincts are good going forward, but something he will have to refine at the next level. There are a few occasions where it looks like he breaks scheme and freelances a bit.
Summary: I would probably take Shane Ray before Bud Dupree, but based on the college tape, I think they are both better than Randy Gregory in the present tense. Gregory and Dupree could have another gear to their careers, though, based on how well they are developed in their young NFL seasons. Dupree was a tight end conversion in college and just looks like that type of electric player who should get you very excited to join your side. I wonder if his Senior Bowl opt out might get him into Dallas' neighborhood. If so, that is an exciting possibility to consider, opposite DeMarcus Lawrence.