LSU receiver Malachi Dupre plans to enter the 2017 NFL draft, according to a report from Tony Pauline on draftanalyst.com.
Dupre, a draft-eligible junior from New Orleans, has not made an announcement, and the signing deadline isn't until Jan. 16.
Draftanalyst.com reported that Dupre is expected to join safety Jamal Adams in leaving early. The Advocate reported two weeks ago that the LSU coaching staff expected Adams and running back Leonard Fournette to enter the draft. Fournette has since announced his departure. Adams has been interviewing with agents, draftanalyst.com reported.
Dupre, a junior from New Orleans, is projected as a second to third-round draft pick. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound former John Curtis star signed with LSU in 2014 as ESPN.com's No. 1-ranked receiver prospect in the nation.
Before this season, some draft analysts expected the athletic and speedy Dupre to finish this year with first-round value, but he began the year slow, dropping a host of passes before rebounding.
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Since Ed Orgeron took over after Game 4, Dupre has caught at least two passes in each game. He's once topped 100 yards receiving, gaining exactly 100 yards on three catches against Southern Miss. He's first on the team in catches (34) and yards (454). He's averaging 13.4 yards a catch and is tied with D.J. Chark for the team lead with three touchdown receptions.
It's unclear if Orgeron's hire of offensive coordinator Matt Canada on Wednesday will affect Dupre's decision. Christian LaCouture, a senior who missed this year, announced Thursday that he'll return for a fifth year of eligibility and he said "I think a lot of guys are really considering coming back because you see what’s going on.
"When Coach O got the job, we progressed, week in and week out, and it was really exciting to watch," LaCouture said.
There are several other draft-eligible underclassmen on the team, including defensive linemen Davon Godchaux, Greg Gilmore and Frank Herron, and receiver D.J. Chark, offensive tackle K.J. Malone and redshirt sophomore Will Clapp.
Orgeron is actively working to keep them with the program and so is LaCouture.
"That was something I wanted to do to get out of the way because now I want to go out and help coach O and staff try to recruit these guys to come back because I really feel like we’re going to have a special team next year," LaCouture said in announcing his decision. "Whatever I go to do – I’m going to ask coach O – whatever I need to do to convince some of these guys to come back, I will. I want to be a team leader, I want to do everything I can for this football team.”
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