The New York Giants have the ninth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. As we have discussed multiple times, there are any number of ways the draft could play out. With that in mind, let's do a 'Nine for No. 9' series. We will look at nine guys who potentially could be the pick for the Giants at No. 9, making the case both for and against the pick.
Let's acknowledge that other places have done series similar to this, so no credit taken here for coming up with a completely original idea. The nine players we end up profiling, though, will be completely our own thoughts. I've asked 'Raptor,' 'Invictus,' Alex and Jesse for their input on this list and our profiles will be the players who received the most votes from them as potential picks at No. 9.
There are several players who will not be considered here, simply because the likelihood of them actually being available at No. 9 seems slim. Those players are wide receivers Amari Cooper and Kevin White, quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, defensive tackle Leonard Williams, and edge rushers Dante Fowler Jr. and Vic Beasley. There is pretty much universal agreement -- which could, of course, end up being wrong -- that those players will be off the board before the Giants pick.
First up in our look at 'Nine for No. 9' series will be Kentucky defensive end Alvin 'Bud' Dupree. Please don't read anything into the order in which these are presented, that's pure pot-luck.
The case for Dupree
Why would the Giants take Dupree at No. 9? Well, think about why they took Jason Pierre-Paul a few years ago? Pierre-Paul was a freakish athlete thought to have gobs of untapped potential -- the kind of player the Giants love to get their hands on. That's Dupree. Have you seen this guy's spider chart?
Look at that and then realize this guy is 6-foot-4, 269 pounds of raw athletic potential. NFL.com calls him a "freakish athlete." Walter Football calls the Giants a "possible fit" for Dupree, and says he "has the potential to be a double-digit sack producer" in the NFL. Our own 'Invictus' wrote in his prospect profile of Dupree that "I don't think there should be much fussing if he's selected ninth overall for the Giants." Invictus' player comparison for Dupree? Robert Quinn of the St. Louis Rams. Most reports also indicate that Dupree has shown the character traits that have become increasingly important to the Giants.
Going with an edge rusher would make sense for the Giants, especially one with the size and strength to become an every-down player. Yes, the Giants have Jason Pierre-Paul. At this point, though, JPP is under the franchise tag and may not be a Giant after 2015. Robert Ayers played well in 2014, but is coming off an injury. George Selvie was signed as a free agent, but his reputation is that he is a better run defender than pass rusher. Damontre Moore has not yet lived up to his potential, and Kerry Wynn flashed promise but is still largely an unknown.
Steve Spagnuolo showed in his first tenure with the Giants what he can do with a versatile, deep stable of pass rushers. Drafting Dupree would be a swing for the fences move as whoever drafts him is banking more on his potential than his collegiate production. If Dupree reaches that potential, though, he could be one of the league's premier defensive ends.
The case against Dupree
For all of his physical skills, Dane Brugler CBS writes in his excellent draft guide that Dupree "isn't yet the sum of his parts." SB Nation's Stephen White, a former NFL defensive lineman isn't completely sold on Dupree, saying "Dupree is a bit of an enigma to me after watching him in five games and then seeing his combine numbers. On tape, he is a pretty good player with decent but inconsistent technique who flashes some big play ability in just about every game. Those combine numbers tell me I should be seeing a much more dominant player on the field, however."
Here is more from White:
Dupree has been blessed with the kind of physical tools that could elevate him to Pro Bowl or All-Pro status with just a little bit of polish on his technique. At the same time, I do get this kind of "buyer beware" vibe while watching him. Not because of his effort, which was actually excellent nearly all the time. In fact, one of the most impressive things about Dupree was his hustle running to the ball. He reminded me of Anthony Barr from last year in that regard.
But I see a guy who should be more explosive than he is, who should be more focused on the details of his technique, who should just be ... better. And that always worries me.
For me, the other scary thing about Dupree is projecting what he can be as a 4-3 defensive end because of the way Kentucky used him. Despite being 269 pounds, the Wildcats used Dupree more as a stand-up 3-4 outside linebacker and played him more in space than they used him as a hand-in-the-ground 4-3 defensive end. For me, that makes taking Dupree at No. 9 a touch risky.
Teams can get burned by taking "athletes" and hoping they can turn them into "players." That doesn't always work out. Does Dupree fit into this category?