It came as a surprise to some that Alvin Dupree, the athletic defensive end from the Kentucky Wildcats, decided to pass on the NFL Draft and return for another season of college football. And while I think he made the right decision to add another year of tape to his resume, his 7 sacks and 61 tackles would’ve made him an attractive prospect last May.
The first couple of defensive ends that we’ve looked at so far have been a real contrast in styles, with Shiquile Calhoun (Michigan State) projecting as a bona-fide pass rushing prospect and Anthony Chickillo (Miami) more of a hard-nosed run stuffer. Let’s take a look at which player Dupree more closely resembles.
Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky | #2 | 6040, 267 | Sr.
-Veteran of 26 career starts (Appeared in 35 games);
-Has 16 career sacks and 24.5 TFLs. Has 173 overall tackles;
-Named 2nd Team All-SEC in 2013;
-Has finished in the top 10 of QB sacks in the SEC in ’13 and ’12;
-Was considered a top-50 TE recruit out of high school, totaling over 1,000 yards and 10 TDs as a senior;
-Nickname is “Bud.”
Alvin Dupree is an impressive player, both from a physical standpoint and as an athlete. He has a nice frame that is muscular and well built. He’s committed to his physical development, as evidenced by the 15 good pounds that he’s added during his time at Kentucky. His 267lbs is pretty deceptive, as he doesn’t appear to be maxed out; while I don’t think he should add any more weight, he probably could get himself into the 270′s if needed.
Dupree is an impressive movement guy, displaying traits and a natural athleticism of a lighter/smaller prospect. He possesses good lateral agility and generally maintains his balance throughout the duration of the play. He has a very impressive initial burst off the snap that showcases his explosive, quick twitch ability. I think another year of college ball will help him grow his ability to get to the quarterback, as he still needs to work on his pass rush arsenal. But there’s no denying that Dupree has the get off and closing speed to be a real pass rushing threat.
Against the run, Dupree is a solid defender who will need to work at his craft a bit in order to gain a better understanding of offensive play designs. He seems to get fooled too easily by play action or misdirection plays. I don’t think he lacks awareness, but it’s not a strength right now. Dupree is a hustle guy who goes all-out in an effort to make a play. However, he needs to become more of a finisher. He is a high-energy guy who puts himself in position to make a play, and while he does tend to slow or trip up the runner, he doesn’t consistently secure the tackle. His production, as impressive as it already is, would be far greater if he gains consistency as a finisher. Dupree’s a strong guy who does a nice job holding his ground when the play comes in his direction, and he possesses an equally impressive ability to slice through the offensive line and disrupt in the backfield. He can make plays, in pursuit, down the line of scrimmage when the play goes away from him as a result of his burst and overall (+) athletic ability.
Versus the pass, Dupree is an exciting prospect who, with some refinement in his pass rush, could emerge as one of the top prospects to come out of the SEC. His (+) burst off the snap is a huge asset that, once he polishes up some complementary pass rush moves, will move him (potentially) into upper-tier prospect status for next year’s Draft. As of now, he’s too easily neutralized if his speed doesn’t win. But I really like the burst/foundation that he’s working with as we approach the start of the season. At times, he’ll flash a club and rip, but it’s just not on a regular enough basis. He was smart to return to school.
Alvin Dupree is an exciting player to watch this year, as he can be one of the real risers in the draft class. It happens every year that a player who is respected as a prospect takes a step in development and becomes a player in high demand. Dupree has a chance to become that this year if he gains consistency as a finisher and a more diverse pass rush. His natural make-up and athletic ability are first-round worthy.