Should drop a little weight for a 3-4 outside linebacker position
Summary: Despite spending the past few seasons as one of the best defensive players in the SEC, Dupree went under the radar playing at Kentucky. He is a big, fast, edge rusher who can be a force on the edge.
Dupree became an every-down player in 2012 and had an impressive debut. The sophomore totaled 91 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks and a pass batted. Dupree stayed consistent in his production as a junior with 61 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, one pass broken up and seven sacks.
In 2014, Dupree recorded 74 tackles with 11.5 tackles for a loss, one pass batted, one interception, two forced fumbles and 7.5 sacks. He was much more disruptive than the numbers illustrate, and his sack production was hurt by going against eight read-option offenses. Even though Dupree didn't have a huge stat line, he was very good against Florida as he caused a lot of disruption with pressure. Dupree had a huge pick-six against South Carolina in Kentucky's seven-point upset win. The Wildcats also played from behind quite a bit in the second half of the year, and that led to fewer pass-rushing opportunities for Dupree as teams ran the ball against Kentucky.
For the NFL, Dupree has the speed and strength to be a tough battle for offensive tackles. Dupree would be a star of the all-looks team with his body type. As a pass-rusher, he can burn tackles with a speed rush yet also is strong enough to fight them off with his hands. Dupree can shed blocks and win with a bull rush as well. He could use more refinement with his pass-rushing moves, but he has the potential to be a double-digit sack producer as a pro. Dupree is also a good run-defender. He is strong at the point of attack and is able to maintain his gap. Furthermore, Dupree pursues well and has a good motor.
Dupree's size and speed should serve to make him very versatile at the next level. He could fit as a 4-3 defensive end or a 3-4 outside linebacker. If Dupree plays in the latter system, it might be a good idea for him to drop a little weight.
Dupree looks most likely to be a mid-first-round pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Some think he could crack the top 10, while others feel he might slip into the 20s. In speaking with multiple NFL teams, they felt that Dupree was a mid- to late first-round pick.
Player Comparison: Brian Orakpo. Orakpo (6-4, 257) is a similar build to Dupree, and Orakpo has played heavier than his listed numbers in his career. Both of them are tough edge defenders who fit as 3-4 outside linebackers or 4-3 defensive ends. Orakpo was the 13th-overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, and Dupree could go in the same range this year.
NFL Matches: Washington, New York Jets, Chicago, Atlanta, New York Giants, Cleveland, New Orleans, San Diego, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh,
There are a number of a lot of teams in the first round that could target an edge defender like Dupree.
In the back portion of the top 10, Dupree has a number of landing spots. The highest he could probably hope to go would be Washington. The Redskins lost Brian Orakpo in free agency, which that creates a hole in their defense. Dupree has the versatility to let new defensive coordinator Joe Barry use him as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 or a defensive end in 4-3 sets. Barry has experience coaching the 3-4 and Tampa 2, so Dupree could be a versatile player to move around the field.
The Jets also have to improve their edge rushing. Sheldon Richardson led New York in sacks with eight in 2014 while none of the team's edge rushers totaled seven sacks. Since the Jets filled their needs at corner and wide receiver, they could improve their pass rush early in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Chicago could use more young edge rushers. Willie Young was a great signing, but the Bears need a long-term edge rusher to replace Jared Allen. Dupree would give them a piece for their 3-4.
Atlanta would make a lot of sense for Dupree. The Falcons have to improve their pass rush, and Dupree could help with that.
The Giants are another possible fit for Dupree. New York's defense was at it's best when the organization had a stable of pass-rushers. Dupree could help form that with Jason Pierre-Paul, Damontre Moore and Kerry Wynn.
The Browns could use a pass-rusher, too. Dupree could interest Cleveland in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at either of the team's selections.
New Orleans would make a lot of sense for Dupree as he could play outside linebacker in Rob Ryan's defense. Dupree prove to be a big upgrade to the Saints' pass defense.
If Dupree gets past the Saints, he could interest the Chargers. They need to replace Dwight Freeney, while Melvin Ingram and Jeremiah Attaochu have yet to break out.
Dupree shouldn't fall past the early 20s when the Bengals and Steelers are on the clock. Both of those franchises need edge rushers, and Dupree would be a welcome addition to either AFC North team, especially Pittsburgh. Arizona is another playoff team that could stand to improve its edge rush.