The Cowboys moved up in the fifth round to select Devin Street from the University of Pittsburg. Apparently they couldn’t pass up on the pass catching ability of the Panthers All-Time leader in receptions. (Street had 2,901 yards receiving and hauled in 16 touchdowns) Pitt has spit out some good receivers into the NFL. Players like Antonio Bryant, Jonathan Baldwin and Larry Fitzgerald are names that come to mind. But none of them got to 170 receptions. Street sits at 202.
Street is a tall receiver with a nice build to him. At 6’3 198 pounds, Street was able to use his size to his advantage. But size is not the only reason he was targeted so much for the Panthers. To be a taller receiver, Street runs some of the best routes seen at his level of play. He positions himself well and has great footwork. He could set up his man and use his quickness to get off the line and run his routes. When the ball is in the air, rarely does he lose it. Like any reliable receiver, his hands are consistent.
Even with all those receptions, some still question his production. Why wasn’t he able to post at least one 1,000 yard season? Some are led to believe that he doesn’t have breakaway speed. Devin only ran a 4.5 in the forty yard dash. But just watch how this kid plays. He knows how to run and adjusts his speed to the result he needs to obtain. Film doesn’t lie. He finds ways to get open and separates from his defenders. Can he do it in the NFL? We shall see.
They say that speed kills. And to some extent, I agree. More important to me, however, is the things that you do before you turn on the after burners. Getting off the line, running your route, showing yourself as a target and making the catch. Darius Heywood-Bey ran a 4.25 for his forty yard dash time and we see how it has helped him. In five years, this former first round pick only has 2,380 yards and 12 touchdowns.
With regards to his lack of a 1,000 yard season I point to A.J. Green. Green has been one of the best wideouts since he was drafted by the Bengals. He never had a 1,000 yard season of receiving while at Georgia. But each of his three seasons in the NFL has yielded a 1,000 yard effort. While A.J. Green is an elite receiver, I do not see why Street can not produce in this league with the skill set, athleticism, and determination that he possesses.
It is going to be a long road for Street. He is going to have to put in a ton of work and continue to improve as a student of the game and in his route running. In his work out with Coach Dooley he was shown some pointers on how to get better. The Cowboys already know what he beings to try table. Now it is a matter of bringing it everyday. There will be players like Dwayne Harris, Cole Beasley, Chris Boyd and L’Damian Washington will be bringing their A game trying to earn playing time on this team. So welcome to the Dallas Cowboys Devin. You now have the task of earning that Star on your helmet. I wish you well.