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Browns visited privately with OLB Bud Dupree

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The Browns met with first round prospect Bud Dupree late last week.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Outside pass rushers are critical to have in any NFL defense, especially in the Browns' defensive scheme.

While the Browns currently have Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo at outside linebacker, the club could be in position to pick up another pass rusher in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft.

The Browns looked further into the idea late last week, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, privately visiting one player who could terrify NFL quarterbacks: Bud Dupree.

As Fowler reported, general manager Ray Farmer did not make the trip to Lexington, Kentucky to see Dupree, but other representatives of the team met with him. The extent of the visit is not known, as a private meeting could be anything from a dinner to a workout.

Dupree enjoyed a fruitful four-year career at the University of Kentucky. The Irwinton, Georgia native topped both his team and the SEC in sacks with 7.5 and finished second on the squad in tackles with 74. He finished his career with 247 total tackles, 37 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles.

The 6'3, 269 pound prospect saw time at both defensive end and outside linebacker at Kentucky. However, Dupree is projected as a linebacker in the NFL.

Dupree's stock has increased since the news of Randy Gregory's failed drug test for marijuana went public on March 26. As Pro Football Talk noted on April 3, Dupree was previously seen as a late first rounder, but could be selected much higher by a team looking for an athletic pass rusher.

At this point, there's no telling if Dupree will fall to the Browns at #12 or #19, as the mock drafts offer no consistency in regards to Dupree's destination. SB Nation's Dan Kadar predicts Dupree to the Jets at #6, while CBS Sports' Rob Rang has Dupree falling to the Colts at #29.

Regardless of how far Dupree falls, the Browns need depth at outside linebacker after Kruger and Mingo. Could Dupree be the answer?