The Pittsburgh Steelers signed first round draft pick Bud Dupree today to a 9.2 million dollar contract which includes a 4.9 million dollar signing bonus, per Mark Kabloy of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that all drafted players be offered 4 year contracts, but first round picks also have 5th year option added to it and, accordingly, the Bud Dupree rookie contract carries that 5th year option.
The Steelers also signed 5th round pick Jesse James to a four year contract at an estimated value of 2.5 million dollars.
More Video on Bud Dupree
Alvin “Bud” Dupree comes to the Steelers from the Kentucky Wildcats having recording 23 1⁄2 sacks in 38 career starts including 7 1⁄2 as a senior last year.
Dupree was expected to be drafted early in the 2015 NFL Draft, with most analysts projecting him as a top ten pick, and some projecting him as early as a 6th round pick.
- Nonetheless, Dupree fell, and the Steelers said they felt fortunate to have him.
Dupree critics charge that he is an unfinished product, and that his record on tape is not worthy of a first round selection, and have offered any number of “He fell for a reason” warnings since the Steelers took him. Dupree’s supporters counter by pointing to his freakish athletic talent, and indicate that he was poorly used in college, asked to play the equivalent of 4 or 5 positions.
Either way, Dupree will come to a Steelers team whose pass rush is sorely in need of an octane boost. While sacks (and interceptions) have been lagging for the past several seasons, the Steelers only recorded 33 sacks last season, their lowest total since the 1989 when the Steelers only managed 31 sacks (although in defense of Steel Curtain Rising’s beloved 1989 Steelers, the 1989 Steeler 31 sacks represented a dramatic improvement over the partly 19 sacks that the 1988 Steelers managed.)
- The Steelers will play Bud Dupree on the strong side, where he’ll compete with Arthur Moats for playing time.
While James Harrison and 2013’s first round pick Jarvis Jones split time on the weak side.
CFL star Shawn Lemon,2015 6th round compensatory selection Anthony Chickillo, 2014 practice squad “star” Howard Jones, and former Miami Hurricane Shayon Green also hold spots on the Steelers off season roster. This quartet will spend the summer at St. Vincents in Latrobe fighting for a spot on the Steelers depth chart at outside linebacker.