Devine is another one of those athletes that has been ignored, regardless to his amazing talents. He attended West Virginia University, where he’s broken several records and received numerous awards. He’s excelled in both rushing and receiving, and was considered a Heisman Trophy contender just after his junior season. He’s one of four athletes in Big East history to reach 4,000 yards in his college career. He ran a 40-yard dash in just 4.43 seconds at his Pro Day Workout. He also had a spectacular performance at the NFL Combine. So why go undrafted? Well, because he’s very small.
Devine weighs in at 5’7, 170lbs. To be completely honest, I can’t really blame any of the coaches for passing on such a small running back. A running back of that size would scare coaches away from investing in what could be an injury prone player. Look at what happened to Kareem Huggins, and he weighs in at 5’9, 198 lbs.
However, Devine possesses talents that are extremely rare in the NFL. Devine has amazing speed, strength, elusiveness, and vision. Not only is he dangerous running the ball, but has proven to be a reliable passing threat as well. He is very hard to bring down. He has all the primetime athleticism that his uncle and mentor, Deion Sanders, had. Most fans have said that he plays alot like Darren Sproles , of the San Diego Chargers.
So how does he fit into the Bucs offense? The Bucs aren’t looking for an every down back. Blount could take most of the snaps and wear down the opposing defense. Once the defense looks worn down and fatigued, bring in a Devine playmaker with a slippery style of breaking tackles. Or bring in Devine on a HB screen pass. He could be what Kareem Huggins was for the Bucs in last year’s preseason, before the injury. Better yet,. feature him as a punt and kick returner. Devine could contribute to the team in several rewarding ways. The only concern for him within the Bucs offense is his size and that he most likely will fail in pass protection, if even used. With the new CBA possibly making rookie contracts more reasonable, Devine could be picked up for a good price and could contribute immediately on special teams until he proves himself as a good back up for Blount. I think the Bucs would be foolish to not capitalize on this opportunity. Just look at some of his highlights and then determine if he’s worth the risk.