Many teams around the NFL don’t look at a mid-round pick as someone they can immediately plug in and be a key contributor. The Dallas Cowboys have one of those rare gems in Devin Street and he will be the key to keeping the Cowboys offense rolling in 2014.
Dallas took Street in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, just a few days ago. They coupled their original fifth-round pick with a seventh-round pick to move up to select Street. He did have some injury concerns with his shoulder that may have caused him to slip in the draft. The Cowboys had him projected to go two rounds earlier.
Street compiled 202 receptions, 2,900 yards and 16 touchdowns while at Pittsburgh. The Cowboys look for him to make an immediate impact as their third wide receiver. If Dez Bryant‘s back continues to act up this season or Terrance Williams hits a sophomore slump, Street can pick up the slack.
Street’s ability to step in and fill in at a starting wide receiver is an obvious luxury. The reason that the Street selection is so important to the Cowboys’ offense is the fact that they can keep Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris in their established roles.
Beasley is a great slot option. He has proven to be a small, shifty, match-up nightmare in certain situations. But that’s just it for Beasley, some games he is unstoppable and other times he is a non-factor.
Harris has proven in the past he can fill in as a starter. However, who knows if he can keep up consistent production for the long haul if a significant injury occurred. It would also be asking a lot for Harris to assume one of those roles and continue his special teams duties. He has proven to be a great special teams tackler and kick returner. The Cowboys would be sacrificing the potential game-changing ability of Harris if they had to depend on him solely as a receiver.
If Dallas didn’t address the wide receiver position when they did, they may have had to search in free agency where they could have scooped up a player like Santonio Holmes. That sounds all well and good, but he carries a lot of off the field baggage. Dallas is also strapped for cash and who knows how much Holmes would want?
Street isn’t your typical fifth-round pick. He will likely flourish in whatever role he fills. He may prove to be the key in keeping the Cowboys’ explosive offense intact.