With the 22nd pick in the 2015 draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected outside linebacker Alvin “Bud” Dupree out of Kentucky.
That’s fine. The Steelers are hurting for a pass rush just as much as for defensive backs, and improving one of those groups can indirectly improve the other. All the experts are saying the Steelers got incredible value in Dupree at 22, while taking a cornerback at that stage would be a reach. I’m fine with maximizing the value of the pick, especially since it addresses another urgent need.
Now that we’re reaching day 2, we should start seeing teams address needs more specifically. The Steelers should be able to find a corner with enough raw talent to contribute in the second or third round. The exciting thing here is, obviously, the linebacker group.
Your starting 4 are slated to be Jarvis Jones, Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, and Bud Dupree. That’s a first round pick at every position, so if Jones, Shazier, and Dupree even kind-of live up to their draft pedigree, that’s a formidable corps. When you consider the speed of Shazier and what I’m told is an underrated coverage linebacker in Dupree, Keith Butler will be able to have some fun moving pieces around to create different blitz packages, presumably like Dick LeBeau did.
Joey Porter has some talent to work with as the new LB coach. If he can get the most out of Jones and Dupree especially, a lot of problems on the Steeler defense could right themselves in a hurry.
Also of note: It was pretty cool seeing the look on Dupree’s face when he was told the Pittsburgh Steelers think he can be the next great Steeler linebacker. Now I just need to stop calling him Dupuis/Despres.