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Can Bud Dupree build off his breakout 2019 season?

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Breaking down every player one-by-one alphabetically on the Steelers current 90-man roster

Pittsburgh Steelers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Moving on to part 28 of our 90-part series—assuming the roster does not change before we are complete—which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.

Let’s take a look at 2019 breakout linebacker:

Bud Dupree

Position: OLB
Height: 6’ 4”
Weight: 269 lbs
College: Kentucky
Draft: 1st round pick, 22nd overall in 2015


2019 stats

11.5 Sacks
68 Tackles
16 Tackles for loss
4 Forced fumbles
2 Fumble recoveries
3 Passes defended


Contract remaining

Expires in 2020 (Franchise tag)

$15,828,000 salary cap number (7.89% of total cap)

$15,828,000 dead money

$0 cap savings if cut


Likelihood of making the roster

Lock. Cutting someone on a franchise tag would be a terrible move by any General Manager. Since Dupree has already signed the tender, the franchise would be stuck paying the bill without the player. Also Dupree was really good in 2019 and since he’s basically playing in another contract season I would bet he will be very good again in 2020.


2020 projection

It will be hard for Dupree to build off the stats he put up in 2019 because the talent around him on this defense makes it virtually impossible. Dupree could have been flirting with around 15 sacks a year ago, but the likes of T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, and many more were always beating each other to the quarterback which limited their stats across the board.

Expect another similar season from the Kentucky alum.


Projected stats:

10.5 Sacks
70 Tackles
19 Tackles for loss
3 Forced fumbles
2 Fumble recoveries
4 Passes defended


Summary

The drafting of Alex Highsmith might signal the writing on the wall for Dupree. The outside linebacker is quickly pricing himself to of what the Steelers can afford. In what could be his last season in black and gold, I think we will see a motivated Dupree disrupt the running game and again put up a double digit sack total


Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy
Zach Banner
J.T. Barrett
John Battle
Jordan Berry
Saeed Blacknall
Breon Borders
Chris Boswell
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Isaiah Buggs
Devin Bush
Deon Cain
Kam Canaday
Chase Claypool
Josiah Coatney
James Conner
Anthony Coyle
Jordan Dangerfield
Amara Darboh
Carlos Davis
David DeCastro
Christian DiLauro
Kevin Dotson