After a disappointing start to his career, Bud Dupree is finally proving himself as a difference-maker for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In the 2015 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Bud Dupree, an explosive linebacker out of Kentucky, in the hopes that he would provide the team with a consistent pass-rushing presence. Unfortunately for both the Steelers and Dupree, his career has been a bit of a disappointment. Between early-career injuries and general inconsistency, it has long seemed that he would never be the guy the Steelers need him to be. But now, as soon as we started to lose hope in him, Dupree has finally begun to live up to expectations.
Since he entered the league, the most significant criticism of Dupree has been his inconsistency. Far too frequently, he has gone from dominating one game to being utterly non-existent in the next. It’s not due to lack of effort either; instead, it’s Dupree’s aggressiveness that gets him in trouble. He tends to run himself out of plays, and that lack of control has come back to haunt him time and time again.
This season, however, we have seen a new and improved version of Dupree. His stats, though not eye-popping, are impressive. With four sacks and 29 tackles, Dupree has been useful as a pass-rusher and as a run-defender. Even in coverage, an area that he has long struggled in, Dupree has improved and has become serviceable when dropping back to cover. Dupree isn’t going to win any Defensive Player of the Year awards this season, but his improvement has been palpable.
It took a while but Bud Dupree is finally living up to his potential and meeting expectations. On a Steelers defense that has looked dominant at times, Dupree deserves plenty of credit for doing his part.