The first round of the NFL Draft is in the books and the Pittsburgh Steelers chose Kentucky linebacker Alvin “Bud” Dupree with the 22nd pick overall.
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Many in the media have given kudos to Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin for taking Dupree. The Still Curtain‘s Justin Roem gave the move an “A”. Chris Burke and Doug Farrar on SI.com as well as Matt Shetler at Pittsburgh Sporting News rated the choice an “A minus”.
Let’s pump the brakes for just a moment. The braintrust of Colbert and Tomlin have gone defense with six of their nine first round draft picks since 2007. Don’t forget it is the third consecutive season that they felt they needed help at linebacker. They chose Jarvis Jones from Georgia with the 17th pick in 2013 and Ryan Shazier from Ohio State at No. 15 in 2014.
Before the selection of Jones in 2013, the last linebacker taken by the Steelers in the first round was by, you guessed it, Colbert and Tomlin at No. 15 in 2007 when they grabbed Lawrence Timmons from Florida State.
One could draw a parallel to the Detroit Lions, who selected wide receivers with the first pick four out of five years from 2003 to 2007. The chose Charles Rogers from Michigan State with the second pick overall in 2003; Roy Williams from Texas at No. 7 in 2004; and Mike Williams from USC with the 10th choice in 2005. They added Calvin Johnson from Georgia Tech in 2007 with the second overall selection.
Apparently the Steelers. according to the old adage, are going to keep running that play till they get it right.
Perhaps Dejan Kovacevic at dkonpittsburghsports.com is on the right track. He feels the book on Dupree is all over the place. The analysis team at profootballfocus.com thinks that Dupree has the raw talent, but is going to need a lot of “coaching up.” Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report looks at the stiuation as Pittsburgh trying to overcome their secondary deficiencies with a better pass rush.
At this point, I am going to split the difference and call the grade on Dupree a “C plus/B minus” for now. A lot needs to happen this summer in Latrobe.
How do you see the Dupree selection? Let me know in the comments section below.