This draft profile features running back Noel Devine from West Virginia University. Which round he will be selected in is difficult to projects, but let's take a look at what he has to offer. Promoted to front page by Chris P.
NOEL DEVINE RB/KR WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
HEIGHT: 5' 8" WEIGHT: 180LBS *40 TIME: 4.34SEC
*Vertical Jump: 38" Broad Jump: 10' 7" Bench: 435lbs Squat: 500lbs Power Cleans: 300lbs
-----------Rushing---------------- ----------Receiving-------------- -----------Kick Returns---------
Season Gms Att YDS AVG TD LNG REC YDS AVG TD LNG ATT YDS AVG TD LNG
2007 12 73 627 8.6 6 76 7 90 12.9 0 34 22 511 23.2 0 48
2008 13 206 1289 6.3 4 92 35 185 5.3 0 17 3 63 21.0 0 24
2009 13 241 1465 6.1 13 88 22 177 8.0 1 20 5 100 20.0 0 26
2010 13 208 934 4.5 6 50 34 258 7.6 1 48 4 62 15.5 0 25
Total 51 728 4315 5.9 29 92 98 710 7.2 2 48 34 736 21.6 0 48
Devine has had a pretty rough start in life. He lost his mother to AIDS when he was 3mo's old, then his father to the same at 11yrs old. He lived with his grandparents for a short while, before eventually having his parents friends become his guardians. He was a witness in 2004 for a shooting in which his friend was shot in the chest and was killed. Deion Sanders took an interest in Devine and attempted to be his legal guardian. Devine lived with Deion in Texas for 2wks before taking a plane back to Florida to his original guardians, however Deion and Devine stayed close over the years. Noel signed with the Mountaineers, against Deion's wishes, back in '07 after a high school senior year of 2,148yds and 31 TD's. He holds the Lee County record of 92 total TD's for his High School career at North Fort Myers (same HS as Javon Kearse and Deion Sanders) and was ranked the 3rd best running back coming into college. His off the field issues seems to have been put behind him as he has not had any incidents during his WVU career.
Devine has an instinctive ability to run. He utilizes his vision and ability to cut on a dime, without any loss of speed, to create a major threat in open space. Once through the front seven, he is usually untouched as he will be one of the fastest runners to enter this years draft to compliment his shiftiness. His acceleration and initial first step is unbelievably quick. Devine relies on his low center of gravity and strong lower frame to break tackles and keep moving forward after being initially hit. Crazy that a guy his size squats 500lbs and benches 435lbs. He also has great hands and can catch the ball in the flats or going down field making him an even greater threat to opposing defenses. His big play ability is off the charts and he is an explosive offensive weapon.
Noel's major glaring weakness is his size. At only 5'8" and 180lbs, once a DL gets a hold of him, he usually goes down. This also brings up the issue of injuries. He was nursing an ankle injury after the 3rd week of his senior year and never fully recovered it seemed. As an NFL back, he will be "Reggie Bush like" as he won't be a runner you want pounding the ball in between the tackles. He could also be a liability as a blocker in the NFL. Devine also at times seems to disappear from the game. He will make a huge play and splash one week, then tends to be a non-factor in the next game making his play inconsistent at times. There is also a possiblity of off the field issues. He has came from a rough childhood and has two kids with two different women. I personally think that these issues are behind him now as he has not had any blunderings during his WVU career and even elected not to enter the 2010 draft because he said that he felt getting his degree was a priority.
Expected NFL Position
I would expect Devine to be in the Devon Hess/Dexter McCluster role and a possible change of pace RB in the NFL. He is projected all over the place by several sites I've researched. DraftBible and FFToolBox has him projected for the 2nd round, BleacherReport has him as a 3rd, NFLDraft101 as a 4th, and NFLDraftScout as a 5th-6th rounder. I personally see him as a mid-3rd rounder mostly due to his size.
Why the Browns should draft him
The Browns have no explosive weapons on offense. They desperately need some kind of big play maker and a momentum changing back. Noel can bust out a 90yd TD run at anytime and putting him in for Hillis on 3rd downs would force the defense to react to him being in the game. With his ability to catch or run, he could be a huge weapon for us in the new WCO system. Also, as we have seen this past year, if Cribbs would get hurt, Noel can be a dangerous kick returner.
Why the Browns should pass on him
Considering Hardesty becomes healthy, a backfield of Hillis and Hardesty is scary enough without a need for another RB. Also with a healthy Cribbs, there really isn't a need for KR threat on this team. His size would have to be a major consideration as well. He was small in college, so he is only going to get smaller in the NFL. The speed and ferocity may be too much for his smallish frame to take the pounding.
I would prefer to see Cleveland pass on Devine. While his play making skills are a huge asset, and I'm sure they are needed by some team in the NFL, I just don't see him being a good fit for Cleveland.