The Dallas Cowboys knew they would be selecting a wide receiver in the 2014 NFL Draft after they elected to release Miles Austin in March. They were looking for a productive pass catcher who could add depth to the receiving core while also making some impact. They traded up in the fifth-round and got a guy who fit all of those needs in Devin Street.
While at Pittsburgh, Street caught 202 passes for 2,901 yards and 16 touchdowns. He possesses a lot of versatility in the passing game. He will immediately be plugged in to the third wide receiver role which will allow Cole Beasley to play spot duty in four and five receiver sets and Dwayne Harris to stay put in his kick returning role which is where he thrives. Street also allows the Cowboys to have a solid substitute for either Dez Bryant if his back acts up or Terrance Williams if he hits a sophomore slump.
Cowboys WR coach Derek Dooley and head coach Jason Garrett have been impressed with Street during OTA’s. His 6-foot-3 frame allows him the ability to attack the ball at its highest point and become a viable red zone target. He would be a better target instead of the smaller Beasley or Harris. He has also been praised for his ability to make route adjustments. Garrett said he is very “quarterback friendly.” That statement came after he made an adjustment on a go-route along the sidelines. He used his body to create space while avoiding the sideline which allowed the quarterback a bigger window to complete the throw instead of trying to fit it in a tight area between the sideline and the corner.
Injury concerns scared some teams away from drafting him. He missed some time with an elbow injury last season which even kept him from performing some drills at the combine. After several workouts with coaches, the Cowboys and Street assure all that he’s healthy and ready to contribute.
Tony Romo threw it 535 times in 15 games last year. That averages out to 35 passing attempts per game so there won’t be a shortage of balls to go around. I fully expect Street to catch 45-50 balls and five touchdowns during his rookie campaign. He may not be the biggest name at the WR position, but it looks like Dallas got themselves an athletic, cerebral young player who may prove to be one of the steals of the draft.