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Mike Shanahan Having Breakout Season

Andy Lyons - Getty Images

In the offseason, Devin Street was the Pitt wide receiver getting the most attention. He's been the one projected to potentially breakout and, even crazier, was the subject of NFL Draft first-round chatter. But four games into the season, the wide receiver making the most noise is his counterpart, Mike Shanahan.

Shanahan doesn't have NFL speed, but at 6'5", he's got the size. And he's also putting up the numbers to garner serious consideration to be picked once the draft rolls around. Only four games in, Shanahan already has 21 catches for 368 yards and three touchdowns. Compare that to his numbers from all of last season (39 catches, 493 yards, four touchdowns), and it's pretty easy to see that he not only should top that, but shatter those numbers. As of now, he's on pace for 63 catches, nine touchdowns, and about 1,100 yards.

In addition, as I mentioned last week, he has a good chance to finish extremely high in Pitt's record books for wide receivers.

Part of it, obviously, has to be attributed to the Panthers' returning to a pro style offense. Quarterback Tino Sunseri has looked much more comfortable and four games in, he's played well in three of them. That's translated to Shanahan having success and unlike last season where he didn't show much improvement from his sophomore to junior years, he is taking a big step forward in his senior season.

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