Why the Slide?: Malachi Dupre

By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell

Three years ago, we started a series of articles on why certain prospects went undrafted. In that series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. We got a lot of positive reader feedback about the series, so we decided to expand in the genre to investigate why some prospects slid in the draft. A year later, we started the Why Slide? series, and this year, it is back. Feel free to email me requests for “Why the Slide?” and “Why Undrafted?” at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely respond.

One of the more discussed wide receivers in the SEC over the past few seasons was LSU wide receiver Malachi Dupre. There was a lot of hype about his skill set of size and quickness despite a lack of big production in college. Part of that lack was due to the Tigers having terrible quarterback play the past few years, which held back the passing offense consistently. Still, Dupre was projected by many to have second-day potential for the 2017 NFL Draft, but he slid all the way to the seventh round.

According to sources, Dupre slid in large part because teams graded him lower than the media projection. He was getting third-day grades from many teams. Here’s how one top scout broke down the evaluation of Dupre, “Dupre has been overhyped since he was in high school. His production was nothing to get excited about, but recruiting analysts saw his frame, leaping numbers from track, and projected in a major program, he’d blow up. It never happened though. He’s got ability, but I’m not sold that he has the intangibles to become a success. To be clear, there are red flags in his makeup as a prospect, but not the guy as a person. He’s going to need to have immediate success, but you’re talking about a guy who isn’t special athletically outside of his leaping ability. He doesn’t contribute anything regarding special teams, so he has to walk into your building as your No. 2, and you’ll have to overlook the lack of strength, toughness, and concern that he can’t separate versus NFL corners. They struggled getting him match-ups outside. That position has a huge bust rate with players that have a similar make up.”

In the seventh round, Dupre went off the board to the Green Bay Packers, and that was not a good landing spot for him. The Packers have a good offense, led by one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, but they are loaded at wide receiver. Additionally, Green Bay drafted a wide receiver two rounds before Dupre in DeAngelo Yancey, and that indicates the organization obviously likes Yancey more. The Packers also have some roster locks in Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams, which leaves just two or three spots available for a crowded group that includes Dupre, Yancey, Geronimo Allison, Max McCaffrey, Jeff Janis, Trevor Davis, Montay Crockett and Michael Clark. Allison flashed late last year, so one would think that he would be a favorite for one of those spots. Dupre hasn’t been a contributor on special teams, and that will have to change immediately for him to make the Packers’ 53-man roster. A spot on the practice squad looks more likely for Dupre.

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