Malachi Dupre - LSU
Weight: 196 lbs.
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Experience: 1-Year Starter
40yd dash: 4.52s
Broad jump: 135 in.
Vertical: 39.5 in.
20yd. Shuttle: 4.26s
Bench Press: 11 reps
In 2014, Dupre entered his freshman year at LSU as one of the nation’s top recruits at wide receiver. While he did not see extensive playing time, he made his way into 12 of LSU’s 13 games. He started two of those games. Though his contributions to the offense were spaced apart, they were not small as he notched 5 touchdowns in 14 receptions, earning him a spot on the 2014 All-SEC Freshman Team.
Dupre’s sophomore season saw an increase in starts—8 of the Tigers’ 12 in 2015. Increased playing time meant increased production and Dupre led the team in catches, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns as a second-year guy.
His quick improvement in 2015 led to his promotion to full-time starter in 2016. His numbers were slightly lower as a junior as the offense shifted heavily towards the run game in 2016. He still managed to pull down 41 catches and get nearly 600 yards in the air. As the team shifted offense towards Leonard Fournette, he was a willing contributor and never griped about having to block for someone else to get their yards—likely because he knew no matter what he would find a way to get his.
Dupre has no notable injuries in his history.
Speed/Quickness 3.5/5.0: Dupre did not always show breakaway speed, but he was not often tackled from behind. In man coverage, if he got around his defender, he was usually gone as long as he wasn’t underthrown. His speed was mostly vertical, as he did not have much in his toolkit in the way of a juke or a cut. His vision opened up the field for him more than agility.
Route Running 3.75/5.0: Dupre was adept at getting separation on zigs, outs, and comebacks—pretty much anything tracking back to the sideline gave him space against corners. Vertically, he could use his speed on fades to make life tough for corners in man coverage. He performed well at the line of scrimmage in avoiding grabby corners and had a good first step inside then outside to steal a half-step against press coverage. Working towards the middle of the field, he had a bit more trouble separating from corners, but he was still proficient in getting enough space to cleanly snag the ball.
Hands 3.5/5.0: Dupre had great focus in being able to jump up and find the ball down the field. Timing was never an issue, and he hardly ever dropped the ball without a defender getting between him and the catch. His hand size seemed only to be an issue when reaching for contested catches. If he ever dropped a pass, it was because some corner was in his cookie jar prying the ball away. On one play gainst Wisconsin this year, he leapt for an underthrown pass and had it taken right out of his hands for an interception. Against Louisville in a similar situation, he came away with the contested catch. He didn’t win enough one on one jump balls to be completely comfortable trusting him to just go up and get the ball, but he did not suffer concentration drops.
YAC Ability 3.0/5.0: After the catch, Dupre did not have many moves down the field. Where he caught the ball was often where the play ended. He was trustworthy in the screen game to create 10-15 yards at any given time for a first down. On fades and verts, he was consistently able to catch the ball without disrupting his stride to maximize his yardage.
Blocking 3.5/5.0: A much more enthusiastic blocker as a junior than a sophomore, Dupre’s ability to secure defensive backs and the occasional linebacker made him an asset in the run game. LSU began incorporating him directly into run plays from the spot a tight end would usually start from, and he would chase down defenders to open up the field for Leonard Fournette.
Summary: Dupre was a powerful possession receiver who would not electrify so much as he would gracefully produce. His most distinct trait was his timing and leaping ability when going for jump balls. When it became clear that LSU was a run-first offense, he bought in and was a valuable blocker. Though he wasn’t a YAC machine, he often didn’t need to be because nearly half of his targets resulted in touchdowns or first downs. He sought out the sticks before the catch quite a bit, securing position against defensive backs so his quarterback could lay it up to him for first downs seemingly at will. He was the victim of pedestrian quarterback play, and still managed to average 15 yards per catch over the last two years at LSU.
Overall Grade 3.45/5.0
If Drafted by the Packers:
Dupre could be a number one receiver with coaching that would improve his route running ability. Inside releases were hardly ever clean for the tall receiver, and if he could leverage his size to create space over the middle of the field, he would open up options for the Packers’ pass-heavy offense. He’s likely a Day 2 player. If the Packers pick him up in the second round, he would ease some anxiety about a post-Jordy Nelson offense. It is worth noting that Nelson did not light up the 3-cone or shuttle drills, and he was able to develop a quick double move that bought him a lot of yards after the catch. Dupre could realistically grow into a similar mould, but of course it’s asking a lot for him to fill the shoes of the Packers #1 receiver of nearly the entirety of the past decade.
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