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Heir Bud

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Alvin "Bud" Dupree is quite nice. The Saints should maybe get him at #13.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Take a look at the ‘top-tier’ line defenders for the 2015 Draft class, the guys who will likely go in the top-10, and the names have been fairly consistent. Leonard Williams, Dante Fowler Jr, Vic Beasley (BB), and maybe Shane Ray (despite an otherwise lackluster Pro Day).

I haven’t forgotten about Randy Gregory. He’s pretty nice, too. I just wonder whether he’ll fall now due to his, ahem, recreational activities. And no, "Heir Bud" is not an article about the New Orleans Saints now getting Gregory… Apt as such a title may be.

This is about us landing Alvin "Bud" Dupree.

First off, "Bud" would not only have the distinction of being just the 3rd player named Alvin in Saints history (Alvin Maxson, ’74-’76 and Alvin Toles, ’85-’88). I look at him and go, "yeah, this kid could be really special."

"I wear uniform number 2 because I'm trying to be number 1 but I am working like I am number 2". – Bud Dupree, UK Athletics website.

Dupree played 4 seasons with the Wildcats, starting 26/26 games going back to the end of his freshman year. Bud has been highly productive since his 2012 sophomore campaign, tallying a career 21 sacks (7/season avg.) and 34.5 TFL (11.5/season avg.). He had 2 fumbles forced and a pass defended in each of his last two seasons, including a pick in 2014.

That’s a lot of nuts!

Aside from common utility, Florida Gators defensive end/linebacker/actual alligator Dante Fowler Jr, the commonly considered consensus (say that 3 times fast) #1 linebacker prospect, is fairly akin to Bud. Fowler, though, has one less season under his belt so for the sake of comparison let’s go ahead and overlook his frosh season as well. For 2013/2014, Fowler totaled 12 sacks (6/season avg.) and 25.5 TFL (12.75/season avg.). He also had 5 fumbles forced over that time.

If you’re a ‘tackles’ person, Bud accrued 226 over his three starting seasons (75.3/season avg.) as compared to Fowler’s 110 over his 2 starting seasons (55/season avg.). Granted, Bud’s resume is a season longer and therefore there is a larger sample size, but the proof is in the pudding. Bud Dupree is an athletic, talented edge rusher/linebacker and, controlling for conference (SEC), I’d say the similarities are apparent. The NFL Draft profiles for each of these guys read similarly as well.

At the NFL Combine last month he measured in at 6’4, 269; an inch taller and 8 pounds heavier than Fowler. He also smoked the 40 at 4.56 seconds and crushed the vertical and broad jumps at an astounding 42 and 138 inches, respectively. Compare this performance with Fowler who ran an impressive 4.6 40, but underwhelmed with a 32.5 inch vertical and 112 inch broad jump.

What Fowler does have over Bud is his length (arm length, that be…) and versatility which he leverages well to create opportunities to get in space and use his closing speed to make plays.

Take these numbers how you like, but also be sure to check out Battle Red Blog Brett Kollmann’s excellent film room segment on Bud. Sorry though, Texans fans. You can blame that J.J. Watt guy for all of these resulting in your #16.

I feel Alvin would be a welcome addition to the other chipmunks on that Saints D line and with our #13, I strongly suggest we dub thee, Bud Dupree, a Saint.