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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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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

For years, the Redskins struggle with their home field as the fall turns to winter. It's been happening so long it's become an expected passing of the seasons, like the transition from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Christmas lights dotting people's front yards. 

Well, on Thanksgiving night, the turf at FedEx Field again showed how bad it can be. On a second half interception returned for a New York Giants touchdown, replay showed that Kirk Cousins' foot got stuck on the dirt, and it played a role in his sailing a ball to the sideline. The bad turf was not the only reason for the interception, but it was definitely a reason. 

Beyond the pick, the field was just ugly. Twitter blew up making fun of the Redskins home grass, and the national broadcast showed just how unsightly the long brown patch between the hash marks looked. 

On Friday, the normally diplomatic Cousins opened up about the grass.

"It probably doesn't look like a professional NFL field should," the quarterback said on 106.7 the Fan (full audio here). "If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we've got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That's probably going to be a bigger challenge."

Asked about the field's impact on the interception on Thursday night, Cousins ignored it. But plenty of other players have suggested the field is a known problem in the second half, and something they just must deal with. 

"I don't know why it is that way or what causes it," Cousins said. "I've kind of learned to accept it and understand it's part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason."

[h/t @BenStandig for the Cousins quotes]

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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE WIN

Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”

RELATED: FIVE KEY MOMENTS IN RESKINS VS GIANTS

Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

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