Bud Dupree wasn’t able to experience a lot of wins during his college career at Kentucky, but he was able to build up an enormous skill set that has allowed him to be a first round pick. Dupree is sure to bring a high amount of energy and athleticism into the NFL, and given how impressive he was with the Wildcats, the sky’s the limit for this incredibly talented linebacker.
Dupree’s Biggest Strengths
You simply cannot talk about Dupree without talking about his ridiculous athleticism. He was undoubtedly one of the most gifted athletes in the entire 2015 draft class, and when you have that going for you, chances are, you’re going to find yourself in pretty good shape to succeed in the NFL. His athleticism is already elite, so offensive players will need to worry about just much better that will get with proper NFL training.
But he’s more than just an outstanding athlete. Dupree is a very powerful linebacker that will put fear into any offensive player that tries to go past him one-on-one. It also doesn’t hurt that he is an excellent leader on and off the field, which should certainly raise his stock in a league that has dealt with a lot of off-the-field issues recently.
Graphic via houstontexans
Dupree’s Biggest Weaknesses
As with any young player, consistency is always going to be an issue. There was a lot of that for Dupree while at Kentucky, but when your team is struggling mightily at times, that’s going to happen and it shouldn’t be a major knock on a player’s overall game. Once Dupree gets snaps under his belt at the NFL level, he was understand the need to be fully involved on every single play.
And there’s also the fact that Dupree is such an awesome athlete that he hasn’t always had to be perfect in terms of technique and skill at the linebacker position. There are plenty of things that he can still learn in order to develop into a more complete linebacker, and that will come with good coaching on his new team.
Assessing Dupree’s NFL Future
It’s safe to say that Dupree found his match in being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round. The Steelers have the kind of defensive style that should fit perfectly with what Dupree will bring to the table, and that may allow him to make a much quicker impact than initially expected.
The Steelers should find themselves in playoff contention once again this season, and with players like Dupree running around on defense, they will put a lot of fear into their opponents. Again, Dupree will take some bumps due to the fact that he’s relied on athleticism over skill, but once he develops the skills that he’s lacking, he’s going to be a big-time linebacker in this league.
Graphic via thebackuppunter