The Pittsburgh Steelers sit at the No. 22 overall pick in the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft, and in such a precarious situation there are a lot of factors at this stage in the first round of the draft. Who is available and what position will the organization target?
The Steelers like Bud Dupree. If they hadn't, head coach Mike Tomlin and outside linebackers coach Joey Porter wouldn't have made the trip to the University of Kentucky's pro day to watch Dupree do his thing. Dupree's physical abilities arre impressive enough to merit a selection in April's draft higher than No. 22 overall, but the trade-up-adverse Steelers may feel enough of him to roll the dice.
Walter Football's Charlie Campbell doesn't feel a trade up is necessary, though. He has the Steelers taking Dupree with the 22nd overall pick in his most recent mock draft.
Pittsburgh needs to improve its pass rush. Who knows if Jarvis Jones will pan out for the Steelers, while Jason Worilds retired rather than explore free agency.
Dupree recorded 74 tackles with 11.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, one interception, one pass batted and two forced fumbles in 2014. He was much more disruptive than the numbers illustrate. Dupree (6-4, 269) is fast, strong and physical on the edge. He has the flexibility to play defensive end in a 4-3 defense or 3-4 outside linebacker.
Dupree played well in 2013 and was a nice weapon in Mark Stoops' defense. Dupree recorded 61 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, one pass broken up and seven sacks. He was disruptive off the edge. As a sophomore, Dupree totaled 91 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks and a pass batted.
With the Steelers still looking to address the cornerback position in free agency (they'll host free agent CB Patrick Robinson Monday), a pass rusher like Dupree may prove more valuable in the long-term. Arthur Moats was given a three-year contract before he hit free agency, and the Steelers still have Jones locked up for two more years, and one more after that on a club option.