The Cincinnati Bengals have to address their pass rush this offseason after registering just 20 sacks this past season. A big reason for that lack of production was the defensive ends not getting any kind of pressure.
While Carlos Dunlap was solid, Wallace Gilberry and Robert Geathers gave Cincinnati almost nothing, despite getting a heavy dose of snaps this year.
That's why Mel Kiper's latest mock draft has the Bengals going with Kentucky defensive end/outside linebacker Bud Dupree.
The Bengals had only the appearance of a rotation at defensive end in 2014 because while Carlos Dunlap is an effective player, the same can't be said for Wallace Gilberry (up and down) and Robert Geathers (safely below average), and they could really use more explosiveness in the pass rush. The team finished with just 20.0 sacks, way below where Marvin Lewis needs them to be.
Dupree has quietly been one of the better pass-rushers in the SEC for three years and should show off big-time physical skills at the combine in February. If they want a better rotation and more pass rush, they can do a lot worse. He'd be a good fit in this system.
Whether it's in the draft or free agency, adding another quality defensive end is a must this offseason.
This past season, Dupree led all SEC defensive linemen with 74 total tackles. He led the Wildcats with 12.5 tackles for a loss, including 7.5 quarterback sacks, ranking among the SEC leaders in both categories. Dupree was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after intercepting a pass and returning it for the game-winning touchdown vs. South Carolina and was chosen as the National Defensive Lineman of the Week and SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week following the Kentucky's season finale at Louisville.
Dupree also earned third-team All-American honors by Phil Steele and first-team All-SEC honors by The Associated Press, league coaches and Phil Steele. If you want to watch Dupree one more time live this season, he will be playing in the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama on Jan. 24.
This is the latest of several mock drafts that has Cincinati taking the Kentucky star. What say you about Bud Dupree potentially being a Bengal?