Bengals Drafting Alvin Dupree in First Round?


Oct 11, 2014; Lexington, KY, USA; Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks offensive lineman Chase Regian (71) and Kentucky Wildcats defensive end Alvin Dupree (2) during the game at Commonwealth Stadium. Kentucky defeated Louisiana-Monroe 48-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

According to Sayre Bedinger of NFL Mocks, the Cincinnati Bengals will be using their 21st overall pick this year on Kentucky defensive end/outside linebacker Alvin “Bud” Dupree.  Here’s what Bedinger had to say about Dupree and the Bengals.

"“The Bengals pass rush was terrible this past season in terms of actually getting sacks.  Dupree emerged as a star this past season for Kentucky and would be a really nice fit for Cincinnati at this point in the first round.”"

(See Bedinger’s entire first round mock here).

With both LSU offensive tackle La’el Collins and Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown, two popular picks amongst Bengal fans left on the board, this selection will undoubtedly be up for debate amongst readers.

Nonetheless, Alvin Dupree would be a welcomed addition to the Bengals’ defense.  Dupree has experience playing both defensive end and linebacker across his collegiate career.  This will be appealing to the Bengals who value versatility in their players.

Dupree has been an excellent pass rusher in the SEC across his time with Kentucky.  He’s shown a real penchant for getting into the backfield and making plays.  He’s improved his sack numbers in each of his four seasons and has a ton of tackles for loss across his career.

More than stats though, his Kentucky bio has several appealing things to say about the burgeoning Alvin Dupree.  Here’s a couple of these comments noted by Kentucky.

"“Often seen putting in extra work after practice to further develop his skills”“Has added approximately 15 pounds over the last year through his work in the weight room”“Had a unique experience in May as he spent a week in Ethiopia on an educational/service trip”"

The “extra work” and addition of muscle comments highlight Dupree’s willingness to put in the time to improve his game.  Playing for one of the SEC’s overlooked schools, Dupree may be the type of individual who is motivated to be the best and find success after being overshadowed by some of the nation’s more hyped programs.

The final comment regarding a service trip to Ethiopia is also encouraging.  It’s a sign that Dupree possesses maturity and a larger view of the world beyond himself.  It also highlights his willingness to “give back” to communities.  These are qualities the Bengals have prioritized in prospects over the past few years, so it should only help Dupree’s standing with the Bengals come April.

Alvin Dupree does possess some weaknesses though.  Here’s a blurb from Rob Rang’s evaluation of Dupree.

"Needs to get stronger. Struggles to rip himself free once engaged, relying on his agility and savvy to slip by would-be blockers, rather than physically breaking their grasp. Rarely gets his hands up to cloud the vision of quarterbacks. Sometimes takes wide angles in pursuit, giving up extra yardage."

Any lack of strength and an inability to engage blockers and then get off blocks means Dupree may struggle when defending the run.  AFC North teams prioritize the run game, so if Dupree is unable to play the run effectively, he would most likely be best served as a situational pass rusher.  A first round pick assuming this type of role may be unsatisfactory for the Bengals considering their needs heading into 2015.

Overall, Alvin Dupree would be an excellent addition to the Bengals’ defense, at this early date, a defensive tackle may be the better addition.  The Bengals have two young defensive ends in Margus Hunt and Will Clarke who were taken early in the past two drafts.  Both players were seen as “projects”–especially Hunt–so their lack of productivity to date is hardly surprising and probably should be expected.

With this kind of youth “waiting in the wings,” adding another defensive end in the draft may be imprudent if a defensive tackle like Malcom Brown is on the board.  The Bengals desperately need help in the middle of the line and Brown would greatly improve the line’s interior.

It’s very early in the draft process and much could change prior to April, especially when free agency kicks off.  The Bengals have been historically quiet during this time, but adding a low-cost veteran defensive end to solidify the position is entirely possible; someone who could also continue to mentor the Bengals’ youth at the outside positions.  It’ll be interesting to see how the Bengals handle themselves prior to the draft.

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