TALLER TARGET TAKEN TODAY: Dallas Cowboys shift lanes for Pitt WR Devin Street | NFL Draft 2014 – 5th Round
IRVING, Texas – After trading up in the second round to grab the defensive player they coveted, the Dallas Cowboys followed suit in the fifth round to grab the offensive player they wanted.
The Cowboys selected Pittsburgh wide receiver Devin Street at No. 146 overall in the fifth round, trading up from their pick at No. 158 and giving away their first seventh-round pick to do so. Street comes to Dallas after a four-year career at Pittsburgh, where he set the school’s career receptions record with 202.
“I just felt like going through this whole process Dallas was my No. 1 choice,” Street said. “I know I didn’t have any say in it, but just getting a feel for them, I felt like they had a lot of faith in me at the combine talking with them and (wide receivers coach Derek) Dooley worked me out. I think everything happens for a reason, and I am blessed to go to such a great organization.”
Street automatically becomes one of the biggest targets on the Dallas Cowboys roster, as he weighs in at 6-3, 198 pounds and posted a 4.55-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in February.
“I think I can bring a different dimension,” Street said. “I can run on the inside and the outside. Coach Dooley had me run routes as an outside wide receiver, but then also put me in those quick, short and intermediate routes. I ran those at (Pittsburgh) as well.
“I can remember running a slot route and ended up stumbling a little bit because I over-strided, and coach Dooley told me to shorten my stride up. I shortened my stride up and he said I ran one of the crispest routes he’s ever seen. He feels like I am a quick learner, and I think I definitely am.”
He was the Panthers’ leading receiver for two straight seasons – in 2012, he snagged 73 balls for 975 yards and five touchdowns. His receptions and yards dipped to 51 and 854, respectively, in 2013, but he did improve his touchdown total to seven.
Like the Cowboys’ second-round pick, Demarcus Lawrence, Street comes with a small amount of off-field baggage. He was one of three Pittsburgh football players charged with simple assault and conspiracy in November of 2012, after a student reported being struck in the head during a confrontation with the players. The charge was eventually reduced to disorderly conduct, and Street was given community service.
With the free agency acquisition of LaRon Byrd in April, the selection of Street gives the Dallas Cowboys nine wide receivers on the current roster. The Cowboys also have Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris, as well as Jamar Newsome, Lance Lewis, and Tim Benford.
DAY TWO RECAP: Player To Watch On NFL Draft Day 3
Devin Street Pittsburgh WR 6-3 198 4.55
Physically reminds me of Andre Holmes (currently of the Raiders) when you study him on tape. Long, rangy build with the ability to make plays. Smooth route runner. Will see him line up in the slot at times which is surprising because I didn’t see the initial quickness for that. Is a long strider that builds speed as he goes. Will catch the ball on all levels and hands appear to be natural.
A three-star WR recruit, Street received attention from mostly MAC schools, but committed to Pittsburgh once they offered him a scholarship the summer before his senior year in high school.
After redshirting in 2009, he started four games in 2010 and became a full-time starter as a sophomore in 2011, leading the team with 53 catches and 754 yards. Street again led Pitt in receiving as a junior with personal-bests in catches (73) and yards (975), earning Second Team All-Big East honors. He was the secondary option as a senior in 2013 behind true freshman stud Tyler Boyd, but tied for the team-lead in touchdown catches (7) and averaged 16.7 yards per catch.
Street has an expansive resume and was the go-to target for Pitt the last few seasons, lining up in the slot and outside the numbers – was effective in the short, intermediate and deep levels. He has an athletic frame with the height/length combination to match up well in the NFL, but needs to consistently play up to his measureables and develop his strength. Street projects as one of the top-5 senior WRs in this draft class and early day three selection.
STRENGTHS: Good-sized target with long arms to catch the ball well away from his frame…natural plucker with soft hands to catch everything thrown his way – nice job locating and high-pointing to come down with off-target throws…well-built with natural body control, using his size well, working the middle of the field and holding his own in traffic – terrific hand-eye coordination…long-strider with adequate build-up vertical speed…shows balance after the catch to pick up extra yards…coachable and known as a reliable teammate – senior captain…athletic bloodlines – father (Kutztown) and uncle (Tennessee State) both played college football…productive resume with 40 career starts and three 50+ reception seasons – school’s all-time leading pass-catcher with 202 grabs.
WEAKNESSES: Lean-muscled and needs to spend more time in the weight room to develop his functional strength…will be pushed around by smaller defenders and needs to shed the “soft” label…tight lower body and struggles to create much separation in his breaks…doesn’t have any suddenness as a route runner and will struggle vs. press coverage…needs to show better creativity and wiggle as a ball carrier to be a consistent threat after the catch…needs to stay focused for all four quarters and appears to have some mental lapses…lacks an ideal competitive temperament and too passive…some durability concerns, missing playing time in 2013 with nagging shoulder and ankle issues…character needs investigated after a Oct. 2012 incident when he was charged with one count of criminal conspiracy and simple assault after being accused of punching a student in the head – charges were reduced and he performed community service.
–Dane Brugler | NFL Draft Scout/CBS
STRENGTHS: Has excellent length and room for added bulk. Chews up ground with long strides. Is a big target underneath with a sizable catch radius. Shows natural receiving skills to track, concentrate and adjust. Soft, dependable hands to extend and pull in a throw off his body. Uses his big frame to post up defensive backs. Nice field awareness. Lined up outside and inside. Solid personal and football character. Productive, 40-game starter. Team captain.
WEAKNESSES: Has a thin build and could stand to pack on body armor — durability could be an issue. Needs to get stronger, particularly to improve his release vs. the jam. Builds to speed and is not a threat to take the top off. Leggy and fairly straight-linish — does not pop out of breaks or separate with quickness. Inconsistent route runner. Not aggressive or physical as a blocker. Can be more cognizant of ball security — carries loosely and swings the ball away from his body. Limited special-teams utility.
DRAFT PROJECTION: Rounds 4-5
BOTTOM LINE: Pitt’s all-time leading pass catcher, Street is a narrowly built, long-levered, smooth-muscled receiver whose best assets are his length and hands. Needs to incorporate more physicality into his overall game, but has the ability to be an effective zone beater and red-zone target.
–Nolan Nawrocki | NFL website
MEET YOUR NEW WIDE RECEIVER: Pro scouting report on Dallas Cowboys WR LaRon “Big” Byrd | NFL free agency 2014
LaRon Byrd | WR, Miami, Fla. | 6-4, 220 | 4.45 | UDFA with Arizona Cardinals 2012
Games Studied: 2012 Pre Season: New Orleans, Kansas City 2012 Regular Season: Chicago
Had to go back and study tape from 2012 because he missed the 2013 season with a concussion. LaRon Byrd is an interesting player due to his physical makeup for the position. Rangy, long build.
Played both on the outside and in the slot when the Cardinals went into “11” personnel. Would line up tight to the formation as a blocker and was more than willing to do the dirty work. Was not afraid to mix it up with defenders on the edge. Was more than just a get in the way blocker.
Really tried to finish his blocks. Would see him get square to the defender and engage. You could see this in his work on special teams when he blocked on the punt and kickoff returns.
Was used as a move guy at times. Would work hard to the flat like he did in the Chiefs game catching the ball on the move, then getting out of bounds to save time in the two minute drill. Aware. Made another adjusting catch over his head working toward the sideline in the same game.
There was some purpose to his route running. Was open against the Saints on a wheel route out of the slot but quarterback did not go his direction but would have had a huge play. Had a feel for how to work himself open against the press.
Would not call him the quickest off the line. Will build up speed as he gets going. Only had one drop on a drag route against the Saints that he should have had. Hands overall looked dependable whether he was catching inside or down the seam.
Took a huge shot from the safety in Cover 2 against the Chiefs and was able to hang onto the ball. There were a couple of snaps where he jumped for the ball where he didn’t need to but made the catch. Would not say that he is a body catcher only because he did have two snatch catches that I saw.
Was on the majority of the special teams for the Cardinals in the game against the Bears. Lined up as the L2 on the kickoff team, left tackle on the kickoff return and inline blocker on the punt return. Appeared to handle his assignments well and without issues.
His size, hands and willingness to show toughness as a blocker and special teamer makes this signing understandable because of the traits that he can bring to the roster. Very low risk signing that could work out well in the end.
Editors note: LaRon Byrd is the tallest Dallas Cowboys wide receiver on the roster. He’s a young, very gifted player with the toughness, work ethic, and character traits that Jason Garrett relishes. With Scott Linehan orchestrating the Dallas Cowboys offense, you can feel assured that Big Byrd will be fully utilized against these 5’11” secondaries. Nice addition.
Related article on The Boys Are Back:
Your Dallas Cowboys wide receivers …
|11||Beasley, Cole||WR||5-8||180||25||2||Southern Methodist|
|88||Bryant, Dez||WR||6-2||222||25||4||Oklahoma State|
|80||Byrd, LaRon||WR||6-4||220||24||3||Miami (Fla.)|
|17||Harris, Dwayne||WR||5-10||207||26||3||East Carolina|
Your Dallas Cowboys wide receivers currently on the practice squad …
|16||Benford, Tim||WR||5-11||193||24||1||Tennessee Tech|
|86||Lewis, Lance||WR||6-2||207||25||1||East Carolina|
|85||Newsome, Jamar||WR||6-1||201||26||1||Central Florida|
2014-2015 ROSTER UPDATE: Dallas Cowboys exercise fifth-year option for LT Tyron Smith | Free Agent wide receiver LaRon Byrd signed
IRVING, Texas – It’s long been viewed as inevitable, but the Dallas Cowboys made it official today by exercising the fifth-year option on Tyron Smith’s contract.
The move extends Smith’s contract through the 2015 season, and it bumps his salary from the roughly $2 million he’ll make in 2014 to $10.039 million in the final year of the deal. That salary is guaranteed, and Smith gets it fully guaranteed if he is still on the Dallas Cowboys roster at the start of the 2015 league year next March.
The next bit of news for Smith will be how this affects his prospects of reaching a long-term deal with the team, though it does buy both parties some time. The Cowboys had until May 2 to exercise the fifth-year option or Smith would have become a free agent next spring.
With the option, Smith now won’t be slated to enter NFL free agency until spring of 2016, but the Cowboys will likely try to lock him up well before that. The 23-year-old Los Angeles native doesn’t turn 24 until December 12, and he is widely considered among the best young offensive tackles in the league, earning his first Pro Bowl selection last season.
Even with the extended contract, Smith is still likely to be one of the Dallas Cowboys top targets for a new deal, along with wide receiver Dez Bryant. It’s been widely speculated one or both players could receive new contracts prior to the 2014 season.
The Cowboys selected Smith No. 9 overall out of USC in the 2011 NFL Draft. He has appeared in 47 of 48 possible games during his career – all of them starts. He played right tackle as a rookie before shifting to left tackle in 2012.
Smith’s emergence as a dominant left tackle helped improve the Cowboys’ much-maligned running game last fall. The Cowboys rushed for 95 yards or more four times in the final six weeks of the season, including four games of 107 yards or more. They managed that just once during the first 10 games of the year. The team’s ground game averaged four yards per rush on attempts to Smith’s side, and five yards per rush on attempts between Smith and guard Ronald Leary.
IRVING, Texas – Regardless of what happens in next week’s NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys have added a new body to their receiving corps.
The Cowboys confirmed that they’ve signed wide receiver LaRon Byrd, a free agent who was released by the Cardinals earlier in April. The move gives the Cowboys eight receivers on the roster right now, along with Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Dwayne Harris, Tim Benford, Lance Lewis, and Jamar Newsome.
At 6-4, 220 pounds, Byrd is the largest receiver of the bunch.
Byrd entered the 2012 NFL Draft out of Miami but went undrafted. He signed with Arizona and made the active roster, logging one reception for eight yards and two tackles in four games. During the Cardinals’ 2013 preseason, Byrd suffered a concussion and was placed on the team’s reserved/injured list. He was placed on Arizona’s injured reserve after clearing waivers.
The Cardinals released Byrd on April 4 after signing two offensive linemen and a defensive tackle.
Byrd was a four-year contributor with the Hurricanes, from 2008-11. He finished his career with 106 receptions for 1,254 yards and seven touchdowns. He set a career high in 2009 with 33 receptions for 460 yards.