Street Improves His Stock

Devin Street has all the right factors working for him--he played in 50 of a possible 52 games in his Pitt career, but he's also developed a lot of NFL connections as a result of some of the coaches who recruited him, or served as position coach. Aside from the records he set, or the times he registered, the biggest thing working for him is impressing former Pitt assistants who are now in the NFL.

Devin Street had a pretty decent performance at the NFL Combine last month, most notably a 4.53 time in the 40.

Not a bad timing that would eliminate Street from being drafted at all. Especially considering that Street is a bigger receiver at 6-4, 195. But he wanted to improve on that timing. That's one good thing about having a Pro Day at the school--a second chance to have in front of NFL scouts.

"I did better," Street said. "A lot of teams had me at 4.46, between 4.46 and 4.5."

Street, himself, was a bit disappointed in his performance in Indianapolis. Though he cited a couple reasons he was disappointed, he quickly turned around and said there's no excuses.

"I got better sleep (prior to Pitt's Pro Day), supposedly that's a good thing," Street said. "It's a rigorous schedule (at the NFL Combine), but it's what they're looking for. I did well at the combine. But for me, it's always about competing, whether it's against others, or I'm competing against myself. I wasn't going to come out here and just do on-the-field drills. I wanted to get better at some things, and be the best I can be. I wanted to improve those two numbers."

In addition to running a better forty time, Street ran a 6.65 in the L-cone (also known as the 3-cone) at Pro Day on Monday. He ran a 6.89 in Indianapolis.

And that's all that Street needed, after finishing as Pitt's all-time leading receiver. Other players on that list, mainly Larry Fitzgerald, are good for comparison sake. However, Fitzgerald did all his damage on the record books in just two years.

Not so much the records, but the fact he played in almost every game possible in his Pitt career. Street played in a total of 50 career games, only missing two. Unfortunately, it was his last two. Despite the durability he had throughout his Pitt career, scouts might want to question that being it was the last two games.

"Not too much," Street said. "This year was the only time I missed. Everything went smooth with my physicals, and everything. I never had any serious injuries, but they want to know what type of car you are."

Street didn't say what type of car he was, but based on that mode, you get an idea of the type of questions he's had to answer from several teams. He gave a few examples of those, finding that part of the scouting process more interesting than anything else.

"Give me as many uses as you can for a paperclip, in under a minute," Street said, citing the most interesting question that came his way. "I came up with seven. You get a whole bunch of questions--would you rather be a cat or dog, study Shakespeare or Columbus. You get a whole bunch of questions they throw at you, just to see what's upstairs, to see what your likes and dislikes are. Character is important, as much as physical attributes."

Then, there are the more simple questions, such as whether you compare yourself to being a cat or a dog.

"Dog, I gotta be a dog," Street said. "Dogs are a little more aggressive. When you're playing football, you have to be aggressive. Aaron Donald is a dog. I'm following his footsteps."

Aside from the testing itself, whether it be physical or mental, Street has also learned the power of networking. He couldn't have predicted that when Bobby Engram arrived two years ago, Street would be sitting here with all the career numbers, and the development as a player that earned his invite to Indianapolis.

Engram himself, probably couldn't have predicted he'd get an offer from an NFL coach in staff after just two years in the college ranks. Regardless, both relied on each other to get them to this next stage--Street as an NFL prospect, Engram as receivers coach for the Baltimore Ravens.

The two actually crossed paths, briefly, in Indianapolis. Again, neither could have guaranteed two years ago that both would be where they are. It was certainly believable, or possible two years ago. Engram mentoring Street is one more valuable lesson for Street, and one that any college player at any position can take to heart. Even if Street doesn't get drafted by the Ravens, Engram is at the top of Street's list of referrals.

"Me and Coach Engram have formed a strong bond," Street said. "I have his back. I think he has my back. I have a lot of trust in him. I can't say enough about him. He's been a positive motivation in my life, and I'm pretty respectful of what he's done. I'm working towards his goal, as well. Always progressing. He has high hopes, high goals."

Not to mention former Pitt assistants who are now NFL assistants.

"I saw Coach (Brian) Angelichio and Coach (Frank) Cignetti, guys who recruited me," Street said. "Just seeing where they're at now, it's great to see. Those guys are like family. I'm always happy for them. It was great to see Coach Engram."

With the stressful part of preparing now out of the way, Street will turn his attention on building a regular training routine here in Pittsburgh. He also plans on working out in Cincinnati and Phoenix. As for which round he might be taken in, he has a simple approach to that.

"You can't control," Street said. "Media has their own opinions, NFL guys have their own opinions. I don't care if I'm projected first round, or if I'm projected a free agent. I'm just going to take full advantage of it. Just going to focus on what I have to do, and what I can do to make myself better."


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