Reports from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., seem to indicate that this has been a tough week for West Virginia star running back Noel Devine, possibly the most well-known of the Big East Conference prospects performing in the all-star showcase.
Here is ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay discussing Devine:
On the plus side, Devine is the quickest back here. He's starting from a standstill and he reaches top speed so quickly and gets through the hole. He also caught the ball well.
But the biggest thing working against him is his size. At 5-7, 160 pounds, he's the shortest and lightest player here. On one play, Alabama QB Greg McElroy looked for him in the flat and couldn't see Devine because he's so short. Sometimes small backs get away with their lack of height because they have great balance, but that was one of the most concerning things about Devine's performance. His lack of balance showed during drills whenever a linebacker or safety would come to wrap up, he'd try to make a move and fall to the ground. At one point, he was one-on-one with OLB Von Miller in space and tried to shake him but lost his balance.
He could be a third-down or change-of-pace back, but his lack of size and power are clearly an issue. Right now, because he's so one-dimensional, he looks like a fourth- or fifth-round pick.
Here is the Metro News of West Virginia talking abut Devine:
Noel Devine may have a long wait on NFL draft weekend.
According to numerous reports out of the Senior Bowl this week, NFL scouts are not all that excited about Noel Devine. The running back weighed in Monday at a surprising 160 pounds. That is extremely small for an NFL running back and it may be scaring off some teams.
Kansas City has expressed some interest, but are they really going to take another player who is so similar to Dexter McCluster, who they selected in last year's draft?
St. Louis is also looking for a speedy back that they can couple with the more powerful Steven Jackson
Devine told reporters in Mobile that he hopes to bulk up to 180 pounds by the NFL Combine, but that is still a little on the slender side for the NFL.
What about a guy like this for the New York Giants or New York Jets? The Giants have no one like him. Would he be worth considering as a late-round pick, specifically as a kick returner? How about with the Jets if they lose return man Brad Smith?