While Aaron Donald looks to be a slam dunk first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft and chatter about Tom Savage seems to be getting louder, things have been mostly quiet on the Devin Street front.
He will almost certainly be taken in the draft and is projected by many to be a mid-round pick. Street seems to be one of those players that can step right in and produce somewhere. Still, the National Football Post isn't convinced, recently calling him overrated:
Street’s thin frame allows physical cornerbacks to jolt him with a punch to slow his release and are able to get him off his stem with physical play. He will need to add weight and improve his playing strength in order to deal with the physical coverage of NFL cornerbacks.
He does not however have good initial quickness off the ball, which limits his ability to get behind cornerback off the line. Lack of foot quickness and long legs also make it tough for him to change directions fast enough to avoid jam on line and contact during route.
While Street’s long strides definitely hide some of his speed, the reality is that he lacks the explosiveness and playing speed to get separation of deep pass routes.
I've got to admit, it's hard to dispute some of that stuff, as well as the other points brought up in the article. But I'd argue against the article (and be sure to check out the whole thing, by the way) on a few fronts.
First, to argue that Street is overrated means that he's been rated too highly. There haven't been many reports of him being projected as a high pick and most settle on him in the middle of the draft. Is a fourth or fifth-round pick really all that high for a player that is the school's all-time leader in receptions?
Next, while Street's lack of speed may prevent him from being a legitimate deep threat in the NFL against more talented cornerbacks, he's just a guy that finds ways to get his hands on the ball. He may not score many 40-50 yard gains in the pros, but I do think he can be a solid receiver capable of moving the sticks.
Also, while the competition in the pros is a much bigger step up, I'm not sure Street can't adjust. After all, look at what he did this season against the best teams Pitt faced. Street topped 100 yards in all of the games against Florida State, Duke, and Virginia Tech, catching 21 balls for a whopping 411 yards.
Street may not be one of the top receivers in the draft, but I think the overrated tag is a bit much.