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Kentucky DE Za'Darius Smith "is a late bloomer who has the tools to be an effective edge player," writes CBS Sports' Pete Prisco.

"He played down in their 3-4 a lot, but I think he's a 4-3 end," Prisco wrote. "He is strong and has good hands. He didn't start playing football until 2010. He has a lot of raw ability." The 6-foot-4 5/8, 274-pounder (11 percent body fat) raced to a 4.69 second forty at his pro day. The pass rusher posted 61 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and two pass breakups last year.
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 20 - 9:16 PM

Kentucky redshirt junior RB Braylon Heard "could find a niche as a change of pace back as a Day Three pick or undrafted free agent," writes CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

The 5-foot-11, 189-pound Heard wins with make-you-miss ability in space and has a great set of hands out of the backfield. The former Nebraska transfer rushed for 830 yards and eight touchdowns on 150 carries. While Heard lacks the ideal frame of a three down back at the next level, he should be able succeed on passing downs in a running back by committee type of role.
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 20 - 3:31 PM

Kentucky DE Za'Darius is a "classic 4-3 base defensive end who won't generate much pressure off the corner but can be counted on to set the edge against the run," according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

The 6-foot-4 5/8, 274-pound has the ideal frame and makeup for a prototypical defensive end at the next level. The Kentucky prospect Smith gets commended for his work ethic and has the kind of motor coaches look for. After transferring from Junior college, Smith posted 119 tackles and 10.5 sacks in just two seasons. Smith earned Defensive MVP honors at the East-West Shrine Game.
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 20 - 3:17 PM

Kentucky edge player Bud Dupree "might offer the most intriguing combination of size and explosiveness and therefore, upside," according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

"For all of the attention heaped upon edge rushers Dante Fowler, Jr. (Florida), Vic Beasley (Clemson), Randy Gregory (Nebraska) and Shane Ray (Missouri) among others, Dupree might offer the most intriguing combination of size and explosiveness and therefore, upside," Rang wrote. Dupree's explosiveness, power and raw athleticism should have coaches excited to work with him, at the next level. The Kentucky prospect finished second on the Wildcats in tackles with 74, with 12.5 tackles for loss in 2014.
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 20 - 2:39 PM

Kentucky edge player Bud Dupree "has elite physical tools and has the potential to develop into a productive pass-rusher," notes ESPN's Todd McShay.

"He also has the athleticism to succeed in coverage," McShay wrote. The scribe isn't impressed with Dupree's consistency on tape. We agree with that opinion, but cut Dupree a bit more slack than most. Most prospect's inconsistency can be blamed on on-again, off-again motors. We think a big part of Dupree's issues stemmed from Kentucky's desire to play him all over the place -- both on and off the ball, all over the defensive formation, and with wildly different assignments -- which stunted his development as both a DE and an OLB. Keep him in one scheme and you might have a star.
Apr 18 - 5:20 PM

NFL Media's Albert Breer writes the top 10 is now in play for Kentucky edge player Bud Dupree.

Breer notes Dupree's pre-draft process has been outstanding, including "the interviews, during which clubs found this freak athlete to be a great kid." Dupree skipped the Senior Bowl. There are great flashes in Dupree's game, but he was asked to play on the line and off the ball, which seemed to stunt his development at either spot. He could be the second edge rusher selected.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 15 - 11:28 AM

Kentucky LB Bud Dupree is shooting up draft boards, reports NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock.

"The tape is inconsistent, but as coaches get involved, they want to work with this piece of clay," Mayock said. "He's got everything you want in a Pro Bowl edge rusher except consistency." Dupree could go as high as No. 8 to Atlanta, but he's more than likely looking at a call at some point during the middle portion of the initial stanza.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 13 - 10:19 PM

Kentucky DE Za'Darius Smith is "a high-effort player who will battle to make plays," wrote NFL Media analyst Charles Davis.

"Smith kept flashing at the East-West Shrine Game," Davis wrote. "In fact, he was so impressive that he received a call-up to the Senior Bowl, where he had a very good week." The 6-foot-4 5/8, 274-pounder (11 percent body fat) clocked a 4.69 second 40, a big improvement over his combine time. That we know of, the San Diego Chargers and Carolina Panthers have worked Smith out.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 8 - 1:58 AM

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports that Kentucky LB Bud Dupree had meetings with both the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons.

Atlanta has the No. 8 selection in the draft, with Cleveland following up behind with the No. 12 and No. 19. picks. Dupree gets a slight boost in his stock, with Edge-rusher-needy teams possibly thinking twice on selecting Randy Gregory,who recently failed a drug test at the combine. Dupree recorded 7.5 sacks in 2014 and 23.5 during his time at Kentucky, finishing second on the team in tackles with 74, with 12.5 tackles for loss. The Kentucky prospect has also met with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and the New York Jets.
Source: ESPN
Apr 3 - 2:07 PM

Kentucky LB Bud Dupree "is an explosive, powerful athlete with a background in basketball," according to NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.

Dupree ranks as the class' No. 5 edge rusher in Zierlein's estimation. "While he's been productive at Kentucky, his tape doesn't always do his potential justice," he wrote. "He must continue to improve as a pass rusher, but his traits are undeniable. Difference between being good and great might be his coordinator." The analyst compares Dupree to Jamie Collins. Dupree has met with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and New York Jets. "He's a little slow to diagnose, which causes him to get a late start on plays. I would ask him to drop into space in zone dog looks and that's about it. To me, he's a pure see 'em, get 'em 3-4 rush end," said an NFC East regional scout.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 30 - 7:02 PM

NFL Media analyst Charles Davis believes that settling into a consistent scheme and assignment in the NFL could make Kentucky LB Bud Dupree better in the pros than he was in college.

"If he lands in the right defense and becomes more consistent, look out," Davis wrote." The 6-foot-4, 267-pound Dupree lined up as both a 4-3 DE and a 3-4 OLB at Kentucky, where the coaching staff attempted to leverage his superior talent by playing him all over the place. It's possible, as Davis postulates, that such shifts stunted his development a bit. "The big concern that comes up with Dupree -- whether watching tape or talking to evaluators -- is a lack of consistency," Davis wrote. "Is he more than just a flash player?" Dupree has met with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and New York Jets.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 24 - 9:52 PM

Kentucky LB Bud Dupree "looked tremendous in position drills" at his pro day workout, noted TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.

"Coupled with his incredible testing at the combine, as well as the pass-rush skills he displayed the past two seasons, I struggle to see how he gets out of the top 15," Pauline wrote. Thus far, Dupree has met with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and New York Jets.
Mar 16 - 12:45 AM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline noted Kentucky DE Za'Darius Smith was the "big winner at Kentucky's pro day."

The 6-foot-4 5/8, 274-pounder (11 percent body fat) clocked a 4.69 second 40, a big improvement over his combine time. "He was super impressive in both linebacker and defensive line drills, looking smooth and athletic," noted Pauline. The San Diego Chargers worked Smith out last week, and the prospect has an upcoming workout scheduled with the Carolina Panthers.
Mar 15 - 8:23 PM

NFLDraftScout.com's Frank Cooney believes Kentucky senior DE Za'Darius Smith "should be considered a project who needs time and tutoring before a team expects him to show a return on investment in the NFL."

Incredibly, Smith didn't start playing football until 2010. He spent two years at East Mississippi Community College before turning himself into a coveted JUCO prospect. "Smith is certainly willing, with a motor that is revved to red-line all the time, but despite excellent physical ability he is not a natural and has a lot to learn," Cooney wrote. "Even considering he started football late, Smith is taking a long time to learn the game." The 6-foot-4 5/8, 270-pound pass rusher posted 61 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and two pass breakups last year. "I do think I can get up to 290 and I'll be able to hold that weight very good," Smith said at the combine, mentioning that scouts think he needs to add muscle. "Just being able to get up to 275 after playing at 260 last year, I feel comfortable at it."
Source: CBS Sports
Mar 15 - 5:54 PM

NFLDraftScout.com's Frank Cooney believes there is "no reason to believe" Kentucky LB Bud Dupree "won't be a star in the NFL."

"Any team looking for an athletic, versatile, productive, consistent defender, Dupree is all that and more," Cooney wrote. "Dupree has quick feet and hands and is best eluding, rather than confronting, blockers. Dupree added 15 pounds of muscle in college and can use even more to help improve his ability to disengage." Dupree had a huge combine. His standing broad jump of 11-feet, 6 inches finished third amongst all prospects at any position, behind only Byron Jones' world record (12-3) and Jamie Collins' 11-7, which tied the previous Indy record. "I wear uniform No. 2 because I'm trying to be No. 1 but I am working like I am No. 2," Dupree said.
Source: CBS Sports
Mar 11 - 6:53 PM


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