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Redskins Draft Countdown: Kentucky edge defender Bud Dupree

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Redskins Draft Countdown: Kentucky edge defender Bud Dupree

The NFL Draft is just over two weeks away and I’ll continue researching the prospects throughout the lead-up to the draft. Along the way I’ll be sharing some of what I find out with Real Redskins readers. The focus will be on players in areas of need for the Redskins but I might look at players at just about any position since Scot McCloughan has said that he will take the best player available regardless of need.

Bud Dupree
Edge defender
Kentucky

What they’re saying:
What I liked: In watching edge rusher after edge rusher in this portion of our study, it is clear that some just have the tools and technique to get the corner naturally and with ease. Bud Dupree has a certain element of “DeMarcus Ware” to his game and is as natural as you would hope. He explodes off the snap and around a tackle at times and on his day is one explosive play after another. He also had several occasions this year where on run plays he would jump through a gap before the guard/tackle could close the window and be on the running back as he takes the hand-off, leading to a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.

What I did not like: There are moments where you want more. As impressive as he is, his production level of only 7.5 sacks in 2014 and 7 sacks in 2013 does make you wonder. He really looks like he has a gear he can find at any point, but in watching 200 of his snaps or so, I would have guessed I was watching a 15-sack season this year. That did not happen for him.
Bob Sturm, Dallasnews.com

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins allowed 27.4 points per game last year, 29th in the NFL. Their secondary could be marginally better after some additions but if the pass defense is going to improve (24th in yards allowed, 32nd in TD passes, 32nd with 108.3 opp. passer rating) the pass rush will have to get better. Dupree is a very good if somewhat unpolished edge rusher, explosive and versatile. He played all over the Wildcats’ defensive front, inside and outside, left and right, on two feet and with his hand in the dirt. The Redskins could use a flexible player as new defensive coordinator Joe Barry will use multiple fronts and a pass rusher who can line up anywhere to keep the offensive will be welcome.

Kentucky defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot had Dupree drop back into coverage on a significant number of snaps. He will need some work on NFL coverages; he usually just dropped back into a zone. But he does have the experience in pass coverage, something that a number of college edge rushers lack.

Potential issues: In fact, Dupree may have too much experience in pass coverage. As Strum noted, his numbers were not what one might expect from a stud pass rusher. On analyst noted Dupree spending a lot of time in coverage and that doesn’t lead to big-time sack numbers.

His tackling technique is a bit sloppy and that resulted in some missed opportunities for sacks so that might account for some of his low sack totals.

In some instances it seems that Dupree just reacts to where the ball is going rather than reading the play. As a result he ends up chasing after the ball at times where getting a half a step advantage would have had him in the thick of the play. This is something that can be helped with coaching and film study. One thing that Scot McCloughan will have to do is determine how hard Dupree is will to work to improve his impressive natural ability.

Bottom line: In a strong pool of pass rushers, most analysts have Dupree is somewhere below the elite group of Shane Ray, Dante Fowler, Vic Beasley, and, prior to the revelation of his positive drug test at the combine, Randy Gregory. But the fact that the Mel Kipers of the world rank Dupree behind those players doesn’t necessarily mean that McCloughan or other NFL GM’s will.

Still, I don’t see the Redskins taking Dupree if they stay with the fifth pick in the draft. It seems that Fowler or Beasley would be a better pick; so might wide receivers Amari Cooper and Kevin White. But a trade back to a pick somewhere in the early teens could give the Redskins a solid edge rusher in Dupree and some added picks later to fill other holes.

In his own words:

Dupree on playing in both two- and three-point stances and dropping into coverage.
I think they’ve got me at linebacker [at the combine] because they’ve seen me do the three-point stance . . . I’ve got a lot of film in the 3 point stance and standing up. I think any team can see that I can play both positions . . . I’m very comfortable [in ocverage]. I got more comfortable this year by doing it a lot at practice, covering the slot . . . I played inside linebacker from my sophomore year to my senior year.
Previously in Draft Countdown:

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Need to Know: Redskins’ Friday draft picks could be just as vital to success as first-rounder

Need to Know: Redskins’ Friday draft picks could be just as vital to success as first-rounder

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 23, four days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 10
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 31
—Training camp starts (7/27) 95
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 140

In search of someone, anyone, to stop the run

One of the areas the Redskins needed to improve last year was their rushing defense on first down. In 2015, they gave up 5.0 yards per carry on first down. That was the worst performance in the league. It’s pretty tough to play defense when a handoff makes it second and five. The Saints, who had a historically bad defense that year, were second, fiving up 4.8 yards a pop.

Well, it was no better for the Redskins defense in 2016. Again, they gave up 5.0 yards per carry on first down, again the worst performance in the league.  Remember, this is on first down, when teams are most likely to run.

The Redskins’ problems on third down were well known. They were dead last in the league allowing first downs on 46.6 percent of third-down attempts. For context, an average performance on third down is allowing about 38 percent and the best teams are around 35 percent.

That doesn’t tell the whole story, however. The Redskins weren’t very good at getting teams to third down. They allowed first downs on 33.8 percent of their opponents’ second-down plays. That put them in the bottom third of the league. Again, you don’t have to look too hard to connect the dots to link that back to the five yards per rushing play on first down. Second and five is a piece of cake most of the time.

You don’t need an advanced degree in statistical analysis to figure out that the Redskins defense isn’t going to get much better if they can’t stop teams from running the ball on first down.

It’s easy to point to the defensive line, which has not been very good, and say that the problem is there. That certainly has something to do with it. But the Redskins didn’t have a very good D-line in 2014 and they allowed 4.1 yards per first-down rushing attempt, a performance that was right at the league average.

The factor that was common in 2015 and 2016 and was different in 2014 was the defensive coordinator. It’s possible that opposing teams found a flaw to exploit in Joe Barry’s scheme that wasn’t there in Jim Haslett’s (which surely had flaws in other places).

But X’s and O’s can only get you so far. The Redskins will be looking to take a defensive lineman early and perhaps use an additional pick or two at the position later in the draft. While getting one who can rush the passer would be a plus, they need a run stuffer who can take snaps on first down and bottle up the ground game.

The focus in the draft will be on the first-round pick but, as has been discussed here many times, that pick is unlikely to be a defensive lineman. There isn’t likely to be one at 17 who would represent good value. That could mean that the Redskins’ second- or third-round pick, perhaps an interior lineman like Caleb Brantley of Florida, Larry Ogunjobi of Charlotte, or Montravius Adams of Auburn, is just as important to the team’s success as the first-round pick.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Mock drafts, cap bargains

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Mock drafts, cap bargains

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 22, five days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 20
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 32
—Training camp starts (7/27) 96
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 141

The Redskins week that was

Redskins full 2017 schedule released—Even with the Caps and Wizards in full playoff mode, the DMV stops to take a look and see when the Redskins will be playing. The Thanksgiving game was surprising. It’s another working day but I worked at various places since I was 14 and last year was the first time I’ve had to work on Thanksgiving so I can’t complain too much about working two in a row. It’s a small price to pay for having the best job in the world.

Don't count out any RB for Redskins at 17—Yeah, I know that NFL teams aren’t supposed to take running backs in the first round any more. But that is one of those trends that comes and goes. In 2013 and 2014 there were no RBs taken in the first. Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott in the last couple of years began to shift the thinking. If the Redskins think that Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey can help them win games more than any other player on the board they should pull the trigger.

Rise of Patrick Mahomes could bring big payoff for Redskins—It seems likely that quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky will be taken before the Redskins pick at No. 17 goes on the clock. That means that two players in whom the Redskins might be interested will be available, pushed back by the quarter backs. Could Mahomes, out of Texas Tech, push a third player back to Washington. The buzz is that a team might grab him in the first half of the first round.

The Redskins' five best salary cap bargains for 2017—When I started pulling the numbers for this post I thought I’d find more key players with salaries of under $1 million. I only found three and one of them is the kicker. This means that they don’t have very many late-round or undrafted players who are contributing a lot of value. They need more out of players like Anthony Lanier, Matt Ioannidis and Maurice Harris. That is how a team thrives in the salary cap era. A couple of Saturday picks could make or break this draft.

Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often—There are a lot of ways the first 16 picks of this draft can work out. It seems almost certain that everyone’s favorite first-round pick, a stud defensive lineman, won’t be a realistic option on the board. This could send things in an odd direction for the Redskins. It’s fun to do a mock and I’ll do one or two more prior to draft day but there are too many variables to think that it has a high degree of accuracy. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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