It looked as if LSU had the next great QB/WR tandem in college football when Brandon Harris and Malachi Dupre became the first tandem to start at those respective positions in school history. That didn’t turnout to be the case.
The commonly used narrative thrown around college football nowadays is LSU’s inability to develop QBs. In turn, this hampers their wide receivers’ ability to flash their abilities and diminishes their production output. Ultimately, leading to a crash in draft value.
Prior to the season, Malachi Dupre was considered one of the premier talents at the WR position. With the 5-star recruit status, many expected him to breakout as a junior and finally post that production to solidify him as a 1st round talent. That’s not how things went. Dupre’s production dipped from his sophomore season. Despite that, he still elected to declare for the 2017 NFL Draft.
Dupre is an intriguing prospect in that he’s only 21 years old, and he leaves you wondering if there is actually something there with his game as he wasn’t able to fully showcase his talent with the Tigers. While not considered to be a 1st rounder anymore, teams will still feel compelled to draft Dupre on Day 3, and quite possibly even on Day 2 of the draft.
Name: Malachi Dupre
Size: 6’3”/196/31 1/2” Arm Length
Comparison: Justin Hunter (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Draft Grade: 5th Round
Combine Results: 40-Yard Dash: 4.52 – Bench Press: 11 Reps – Vertical Jump: 39.5” – Broad Jump: 135” – 3-Cone Drill: 7.19 – 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.26
— Jonathan Valencia (@JonValencia_WiB) March 17, 2017
Positives: Raw prospect with upside at only 21 years old. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder. Displays an extra jolt to gain late separation and catch up to the ball in the air. Sets himself up to catch sideline passes well. Displays fluid body control. Gets to top speed quickly after the catch. Springs off contact when he has the ball. Better route runner in intermediate-deep range. Shows a good release on deep cross routes. Flashes a decent double-move and finishes it well with hand pull to gain separation. Gets good leverage/underneath defender when trucking over them. Strong stiff arm.
Negatives: Small, weak hands with long, sloppy strides. Not an overwhelming athlete. Lacks ideal long speed and short area quickness/change of direction. Won’t beat you with his straight-line speed. Hands a tad undersized at 9”. Poor hands catcher. Struggles to cleanly corral the ball. Tends to double catch. Doesn’t use his leaping ability to his advantage. Fails to attack the ball in the air at it’s high point. Rarely will go up and come down with a highly thrown ball. Doesn’t deal well with contact on contested catches. Weak hands and will allow the defender to steal the ball away – depending on positioning. Lacks the physicality to win the 1-on-1 battles. Appears to possess a minimal route tree. Routes are slow to develop. Looks hesitant upon his release on short routes with slow footwork. Occasionally pumps his feet too much. Fails to sell routes well.
Outlook: Dupre is one of the biggest wildcards in this year’s draft class. Inconsistent QB play and questionable implementation at LSU hampered his production and leaves a lot left to be determined. He does, however, bring intrigue as he’s only 21 years old and NFL scouts realize he wasn’t able to fully display his capabilities while in Baton Rouge. Still, Dupre is an extremely raw all-around player who demands a lot of polish in almost every aspect. On the flip-side, he is one of the younger prospects in the class and gives teams a favorable timeline to work with. I labeled him as a 5th rounder in large part due to his youth and untapped potential.