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PFF Projects Steelers Get Bud Dupree Replacement in 2021 NFL Draft

Larry Rupp
PFF projects the Pittsburgh Steelers to draft Azeez Ojulari in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
PFF projects the Pittsburgh Steelers to draft Azeez Ojulari in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. / Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The NFL offseason is already in full swing and the 2021 NFL Draft is only a few weeks away. In ProFootballFocus' latest mock draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers are projected to take Georgia edge defender Azeez Ojulari and add to what is an already strong defense.

Ojulari lines up to be a perfect replacement for Bud Dupree given his ability to get around the edge and his overall speed. Dupree was one of the leaders of this defense and losing him to free agency was tough for the Steelers. Drafting Ojulari is one way they can quickly turn it around.

Azeez Ojulari Steelers

Ojulari put together an impressive 2020 college football season racking up 31 tackles (12.5 for loss) and 9.5 sacks in 10 games played. He also broke up 2 passes and forced 4 fumbles during his sophomore season at Georgia. He has the skills to step into an NFL starting role on day one.

Both head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert attended Georgia's recent Pro Day so it wouldn't be surprising to see the Steelers take a defensive player in the first round. In fact, Pittsburgh has taken an edge defender in the first round three times since 2013.

Pittsburgh has built a reputation for taking raw defensive players and turning them into reliable NFL players. Ojulari has the frame (6-foot-2, 249 pounds) and length (82.5-inch wingspan) needed to excel in the Steelers' blitz-heavy defense. Plus, he could split time with starter Alex Highsmith until he is ready to take on a full role.

If the Steelers can unlock the potential that Ojulari has, they could have a star at the next level.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.