Cowboys draft profile: Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh
MAY 27, 2014 10:39a ET
He is also very strong at winning balls that need to be won. I like his ability to go up in traffic and come down with a ball, and the best part about his game as a slot receiver is also his ability to go deep a ton. To call him a slot is deceiving, because with Beasley that means that they are only going to run him on routes less than 10 yards. Street is not this at all. He is running deep routes more than short at Pitt, with deep outs, go's, and post routes that start inside the numbers, as well as your normal allotment of slants, outs, and hooks that we get from the inside receivers traditionally.
I know the Cowboys want him to be another outside option as well, but that remains to be seen as Pitt used him sparingly in that capacity. Basically, to be an ideal outside receiver in the NFL, you had better be able to get off the line against press coverage, and honestly, that looks like Street's number one area of question. Already, discussions of "getting him in the strength program" have been tossed about in the press briefings to improve his abilities when he is not given the free release that we often see from slot receivers.
He runs very strong routes and looks like he can be a multi-faceted receiver who will grow into a strong pro. If he really is all that we think, we will be wondering how he fell through to the 5th round. Generally, receivers that fall this far in the draft have some major warts, but there doesn't seem to be much not to like about him and honestly, he does look like a young Miles Austin in many respects. Not all of the tools are the same, but their abilities allow them to plug Street in a similar spot that Miles would play when he was healthy in the last few years.
In 2014, it is difficult to figure out what the Cowboys plan on being their ideal personnel grouping, but we know that "11 personnel" will always be the 3rd down/2-minute warning look, and they use that more than any other grouping. Talk "12 personnel" all you want, but on 3rd and 10 against nickel or dime, you are never going to prefer tight ends to receivers who can stress secondaries and isolate weak links.
Street will no doubt be brought along slowly, but when it comes to picks that you can't believe you had a chance to grab in the 5th Round, Street absolutely looks like a kid to be high on. And as a human, it sure seems like everyone who knows him speaks very highly of the type of guy he is and how his teammates regard him as a leader of men.
I always target a player or two that I am particularly optimistic about heading into camp, and I really think this is my guy in 2014 and a player we will be hearing from for several years to come. Now it is up to him to prove he belongs.