The New England Patriots were able to rack up 41 sacks during the 2014 regular season, but once they faced the best offensive lines in the playoffs, they struggled to get a pass rush. One of the main goals going into the 2015 offseason is to add players that can inject talent into the Patriots front seven, specifically pass rushers. Last year they gambled and drafted defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who is doing very well in his post season rehab. Now that they have addressed the interior, it is time to look outside. Alvin "Bud" Dupree of Kentucky is the type of player the Patriots could be looking for.
Dupree was on the field right from the start at Kentucky, appearing in 12 games as a freshman. He finished with 12 solo tackles, nine assists, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and two passes defended. Dupree started the final three games his freshman year and had his breakout games vs. Georgia and Vanderbilt. Dupree proved right away that he was capable of making plays behind the line of scrimmage.
Dupree started every game his sophomore year (12) and had a strong season. He finished with 54 solo tackles, 37 assists, 12.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and two passes defended. Dupree is always around the ball and he is guaranteed to make at least one play behind the line of scrimmage. Players like that have a way of killing drives and helping shift field position or end scoring drives in an instant.
2013 was the least productive season of Dupree's career at Kentucky, but he still put up very solid numbers. Dupree totaled 35 solo tackles, 26 assists, 9.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks, two forced fumbles, and one pass defended. Dupree also missed the only game of his four year career. It is important to note that teams adjusted their blocking schemes to slow Dupree down his junior year, but he was still able to make a good amount of plays behind the line of scrimmage.
Dupree capped his career off right, picking up 45 solo tackles, 29 assists, 12.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one pass defended and one interception in his senior season. Dupree was all over the field, posting highs in every category except tackles, another area that was improved from 2013. Dupree was voted All-SEC Second team in 2013 and First Team in 2014.
Dupree is ready to contribute as a pure pass rusher immediately, but he is going to need some work in the run game in order to be a three down player in the NFL. Dupree is listed at 267, but that might be a bit of an exaggeration. Dupree does have excellent strength and conditioning, which can be a huge advantage, and he has a devastating first step, something all special pass rushers possess. Dupree would be an excellent fit in New England and would eventually replace Rob Ninkovich, who isn't getting any younger.