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Malachi Dupre: Draft Steal or Just Another Seventh-Rounder?

Receiver Malachi Dupre didn’t put up huge numbers at LSU. He put up a single-season high 696 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore.

His junior-year numbers were slightly down (593, three), but he still decided to enter the NFL Draft early. That didn’t work out too well for Dupre. He lasted until the seventh round, where the Green Bay Packers selected him at No. 247 overall.

Normally, you wouldn’t expect much from a receiver chosen in the seventh round — ever. However, Dupre could end up being a steal for the Packers.

Many people blamed his collegiate numbers on LSU’s run-first offense. Dupre didn’t have much to work with at the quarterback position either.

Coming out of high school, Dupre was a five-star recruit. He was ranked as the top receiver in his class by ESPN.

Prior to the 2016 season Todd McShay had Dupre ranked as a first-round prospect.

Things have seemingly gone downhill for Dupre since high school, but it appears he has a legitimate chance to turn things around with the Packers.

The guy has plenty of athleticism and he’s already turned some heads this offseason, both with impressive catches and his ability to pick up the offense.

“He’s definitely an accomplished receiver coming out of college,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s done a lot of good things. Mentally, he’s probably picked it up the quickest of the perimeter group. He’s having a good offseason.”

Dupre still has a ways to go. It will be tough to move up the Packers’ depth chart, so his main goal this year has to be just to make the roster at a crowded position.

Plus, as you might imagine, seventh-round receivers haven’t done much with the Packers. This is the fifth time Ted Thompson has taken a receiver in the seventh.

Here’s a look at those players.

Brett Swain (2009)

Played two seasons with the Packers. Swain didn’t have a reception as a rookie and ended up with just six catches for 72 yards. He played one more season with San Francisco, where he had just two catches, and then was out of the league.

Charles Johnson (2013)

Johnson didn’t make the team as a rookie and was signed to the practice squad. He was poached by the Browns, who put him on their non-football injury list. He was then put on Cleveland’s practice squad where he was poached by the Vikings. Johnson started 17 games for the Vikings over three seasons. Totals: 60 receptions, 834 yards, two touchdowns. In March, he got a one-year contract with the Panthers.

Kevin Dorsey (2013)

Dorsey spent 2013 on injured reserve. He didn’t make the team in 2014 and was added to the practice squad. Dorsey was promoted to the active roster in October, caught one pass, went on injured reserve in November and was released in February.

Jeff Janis (2014)

You know the story here. Some people think Janis has a lot of potential. If that’s the case, he certainly hasn’t reached it. Fifteen receptions, 188 yards and one receiving touchdown in three seasons. Sure, there was the magical playoff performance in Arizona following the 2015 season, but that’s really been it.

The Exception

He wasn’t a Ted Thompson pick, but Donald Driver was drafted in the seventh round in 1999. After 14 seasons, Driver walked away as the Packers’ all-time leader in receptions and yards. Still, he didn’t really do much until his fourth NFL season. Driver had just 37 receptions in his first three seasons combined. He only had three for 31 yards as a rookie.

Dupre’s Prospects

We would be blown away if Dupre did much of anything this season. He’ll be in a battle to even make the roster. If he does make it, it will be tough to get playing time. Plus, history tells us a contribution isn’t likely.

That said, stranger things have happened. Geronimo Allison went from undrafted rookie to the Packers’ No. 4 receiver in 2016. He was an important contributor down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Dupre and Allison have similar builds. They’re both 6-3, with Allison coming in slightly heavier than Dupre (203 to 196).

As is, the key to anything with the Packers’ receivers is earning the trust of Aaron Rodgers. While Dupre may be turning heads at minicamp, Rodgers isn’t there.

He’ll need to keep making plays while establishing a rapport with Rodgers during training camp.

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Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

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6 Comments

  1. Vijay Swearingen June 15, 2017

    I had him graded as a 4th or 5th round talent and inexplicably he fell to our team in the 7th. So, unlike the receivers you list on this post, I never viewed him as a 7th rounder and therefore don’t really want to compare him to our previous WR selections in that round.

    I’ve said it right after the draft but this will be our best top to bottom draft class possibly ever.

  2. Deepsky June 15, 2017

    There’s quite a few draft pundits who had Dupre listed higher than a 7th round pick. Some had him listed higher than Yancey. Even Michael Clark from Marshall has been considered a steal because of his height and speed. The Packers have some interesting receivers.

    If I were Trevor Davis of Jeff Janis, I’d be worried about all of these guys.

    1. Kato June 15, 2017

      I think Janis is as good as gone. Trevor Davis has a very uphill battle.

  3. Kato June 15, 2017

    I think Dupre has a much higher ceiling than Yancey. He was not in a great situation at LSU. I have been on the record here as thinking he could be a steal. I wouldn’t be totally shocked if he has the best career out of any player in this packers draft class.

    1. Xlvordie June 16, 2017

      You’ve been on the record? 90% of people have said he is a steal..way to go against the grain

  4. Howard June 15, 2017

    The run first and always system Dupre was in probably did not help his development as a receiver except in blocking.

    Dupre is an athlete, however some scouts say he is not fast. The same scout(s) say Dupre is very good when the ball is in the air and adjusting to the throw. Scout(s) also say Dupre is experienced at all the receiver positions. McCarthy indicates Dupre has probably picked it up the quickest of any of the perimeter group. I guess McCarthy means the offense.

    That tells me Dupre is a student of the game and his trade. Couple that with being able to adjust to throws on the fly and being an exceptional athlete the team may have a keeper. To me he looks skinny, but not as bad as Davis last year.

    The truth is Dupre will probably have to earn his keep and place on the 53 by special teams play to start the season. Then when provided opportunities as a 4th, 5th, or 6th receiver take advantage of those plays, something Janis and Davis have had difficulty doing. Be at the location you are suppose to be and catch the ball.