Dream come true: Dupree drafted in first round by Pittsburgh Steelers
05/01/2015 02:51 PM
CHICAGO — Excitement and anticipation quickly turned to surprise, disappointment, and even anger as former Kentucky star pass rusher Bud Dupree watched team after team pass him in the first round of Thursday night’s NFL Draft.
Expecting to be a top-10 pick, the Macon, Georgia, native was hopeful the hometown Atlanta Falcons would take him with the eight pick, even strolling the gold carpet in the Windy City decked out in red and black — Falcons colors.
But the Dirty Birds passed, as did thirteen more teams, leaving Bud to ponder his fate in the infamous green room.
“I was hearing ‘Next team, next team, next team’s gonna take you.’ But all the next teams didn’t take me,” Dupree said of his draft day delay. “The wait was horrible. It was real horrible.”
With the Pittsburgh Steelers on the clock with the 22nd pick, Dupree’s nightmare quickly changed into a dream come true.
The six-time Super Bowl champions placed their trust in the defensive stud, selecting him to play outside linebacker in their historic defense and landing one of the steals of the first round in the process.
And Bud couldn’t have been any happier.
TideNFL</a> Honored to call the Black & Gold <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OurColors?src=hash">#OurColors</a>! How do they look on me <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Steelers?src=hash">#Steelers</a> fans? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Spon?src=hash">#Spon</a> <a href="http://t.co/wsI5imKczV">pic.twitter.com/wsI5imKczV</a></p>— Bud Dupree 2™ (Bud_Dupree2) May 1, 2015
“It’s definitely worth the wait to go to a good team,” Dupree said. “At the end of the day, the Pittsburgh Steelers took a chance on me and I just have to make sure I go back and give them what they need.
“It’s a great experience right now. I’m so blessed to be in this situation. I can’t wait to get to Pittsburgh and get to work.”
Dupree’s pick makes him the first Wildcat selected in round one in a dozen years (Dewayne Robertson, 2003, No. 4 to New York Jets) and only the fourth in the last four decades.
KSTV discussed the historic selection, expectations for Bud in the pros, and how his draft day slide could end up being a big blessing in disguise.