Steelers select Dupree in first round


Kentucky defensive end Alvin “Bud” Dupree high fives fans while the UK men’s football team arrives at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, October 11, 2014. Photo by Jonathan Krueger

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Bud Dupree was selected as the No. 22 pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night, making him the first UK football player to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in 12 years.

Dupree joins Dewayne Robertson and Tim Couch as the only players from UK to be drafted in the first round in the last 30 years.

Dupree signed with UK in the 2011 class as a tight end, but ultimately split time between defensive end and linebacker in his career with the Cats. The native of Irwinton, Ga., totaled 247 tackles and 23.5 sacks in his career, with 14.5 of those sacks coming in his final two seasons under head coach Mark Stoops.

Mock draft projections had Dupree going as high as No. 8 to the Atlanta Falcons, but the chance to return to his home state didn’t happen as the Falcons selected Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley instead.

Dupree was the third defensive end selected in the draft behind Beasley and also Arik Armstead, who was picked by the San Francisco 49ers as the No. 17 pick.

Dupree checked in at the NFL combine at 6-foot-4, 269 pounds and ran his 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds.

According to the Pittsburgh Steelers Twitter account, general manager Kevin Colbert said, “We feel like we got an impact player in Bud Dupree. We didn’t expect Bud Dupree to be there at 22, it was an easy selection.”

The Twitter account also said that Dupree would start his career as a left outside linebacker.

Staff Report