5TH year veteran selected 22nd overall in the 2015 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since suffering a torn groin which forced him to miss the first 9 games of the 2016 season, Dupree has remained healthy, and a full-time starter for the Steelers playing no fewer than 81% of the team’s snaps and played 91% in 2019. 2019 saw the version of Dupree we saw at the 2015 combine, when, at 6’4”, 270 pounds, led the Linebacker group in 40 time, Broad (138”) and Vertical jumps (42”). Displaying his incredible explosiveness and athleticism. From 2015 to 2018, Dupree compiled 20 sacks in 2,544 snaps. In 2019, in a contract year, Dupree had 11.5 sacks in 38% of the prior 4 years snaps with 980.
Elite athleticism and explosiveness off the LOS. Explodes off the ball and stays low and maintains balance upon initial contact, and demonstrates good use of violent hand-fighting. Swats hands of OL and continues to take good angle to the ball carrier with low pad-level, winning with speed, strength, and leverage. Does a good job working on the outside shoulder of the OT; puts himself in a position to work back inside, or utilize a long arm to shock the lineman, chop the hands and bend around the EDGE. Very good UOH to shock releasing Tight Ends to throw off route timing; gets into the body and benches TE’s away. Good mental processing; reads and reacts quickly to misdirection plays and maintains gap discipline, and stays home to eat up cut-backs. Good block shed in the Run game; uses very good play strength and leverage to shed blocks while reading the play before attacking. Utilizes his play strength to set a hard-edge in the run game; allows himself to make plays in and outside of the tackle. Uses very good play speed as well as strength to set the EDGE. Does a good job getting into the chest of the OT before he can get his arms extended. From there Dupree displays his play speed by disengaging and accelerating towards the ball carrier.
Adequate pass rush plan; is more of a see-it, go-get-it type of player that relies on his freakish athleticism. Plays without a real nuance of a pass rush plan. Puts himself in position to work an inside counter move but doesn’t execute. Does an adequate job of effectively working back inside in a timely manner to make a play on the QB. Marginal scheme versatility; plays a lot of snaps as the right OLB and rarely puts his hand in the dirt.
Dupree will be 27 in February, and will most likely command a 5 year deal. His tenacious playing style and relentless motor will make teams forget about the slow start to his career, and really believe in the great 2019 he had. His market value at 5 years could put him in the Za’Darius Smith range of around $16.5M per year. Smith also had a similar start to his career, but didn’t have nearly the contract year Dupree had. Until this season, Smith also never played more 67% of Baltimore’s snaps. Dupree’s size, athleticism, relentless motor and playing style should be intriguing for any team with the cash to spend. Of course, the usual suspects are in play (Indy, Miami, Giants, etc) but a team like Buffalo shouldn’t be counted out. They aren’t the most popular destination by any means, but what this team has to offer from a defensive standpoint in the way they’re coached, the young talent, and the potential to get a strong grip of the AFC East should be intriguing for Dupree. Buffalo has just over $80M in cap space, and the highest paid player on their books for 2020 has as cap hit of just $11.625M. Plenty of space for Dupree, and is probably the big-name free agent who best suits their personality.