It's seemingly the year of the pass rusher for the 2015 NFL Draft — and it just so happens that the Falcons are a team in need of a pass-rush specialist. Many names have been associated with the Falcons among the mock draft experts, but a lesser-known name could be a real possibility at No. 8.
NFL Network's Charles Davis said during a Monday conference call with media that Kentucky's Bud Dupree, Davis' No. 5 pass rusher available, could hop into the top 10 to the Falcons if the bigger names are gone.
"If there is a run on pass rushers, someone may elevate him up there," Davis said when asked if any of the top pass rushers will be available when the Browns pick at No. 12. "I'll put it to you this way: If Atlanta is sitting there in eighth and (Florida's Dante) Fowler and (Missouri's Shane) Ray are gone, and (Clemson's Vic) Beasley is gone, Bud Dupree could be bounced into that top-10 for that to be taken but I think he's available there."
Dupree enters the draft after four seasons with the Wildcats. He recorded 23.5 sacks during his career there, and notched seven-or-more in both his junior and senior seasons. Dupree is from Georgia and played his high school football at Wilkinson County in Irwinton.
As for Randy Gregory, another hot name, both Davis and NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah have him dropping far and fast after a positive drug test at the Combine. Referencing the Browns' two selections in the first round — Nos. 12 and 19 — both believe that Gregory could get bypassed even at No. 19 in favor of a value pick in Virginia pass rusher Eli Harold.
"What if Cleveland decides there is any way we can get him in 19?," Davis said. "After what they've been through, not likely, but that's where Gregory would be available, but it's not likely with everything Cleveland has been through that they would go in that direction."