Seth DeValve, TE, Princeton
Late in the fourth round, the Browns used the 138th overall pick to select Seth DeValve. Largely a move tight end, Princeton moved DeValve all over the formation to create mismatches and favorable matchups. Out wide, in the slot, inline or as an H-Back, DeValve has gotten a taste of just about everything.
DeValve has had foot surgeries each of the last two seasons to correct a genetic issue with his growth plates. According to DeValve, the issue is corrected and he’s never felt better.
DeValve missed four games due to injury this past season. In the six games he did play, he caught 33 passes for 337 yards and a touchdown.
Date of Birth: January 29, 1993 (Age 23 at time of the Draft)
40-Yard Dash: 4.68
Vertical Jump: 40″
Broad Jump: 125″
3-Cone Drill: 6.96
Short Shuttle: 4.18
Bench Press: 22
DeValve is a terrific athlete. Obviously, his best attribute is his explosion but he can do a little of everything.
One other name that comes up in discussing DeValve as an athlete is Aaron Hernandez when he came out Florida. Virtually the same height and weight, Hernandez had better change of direction skills coming out of Florida but DeValve is more explosive.
DeValve is an overwhelming athlete for the level of competition. Princeton’s offense didn’t ask DeValve to run a ton of precision routes. He ran a lot of drags, crosses and fades where he could just outrun or out physical opponents for the football.
DeValve is an effective hands catcher that snatches the ball out of air cleanly. He is able to high point or attack it outside his frame without issue, enabling him to play bigger than his size would suggest. DeValve tracks the ball well and does a good job of using his body to box out opponents from the ball.
DeValve is dangerous with the ball in his hands. He has enough speed to get the ball down the field, will lower his shoulder to power through tacklers and will stick his foot in the ground to make an opponent miss. He doesn’t give opponents much time to react or think about how to tackle him, giving him a big advantage against Ivy League competition.
DeValve is a willing blocker. He was adequate inline with some nice plays but his best work was split out and he would overwhelm a defensive back on a screen or short pass, enabling them to gain yardage.
Fit, Usage and Projection with the Browns
DeValve is going to be a move tight end but the Browns really like the idea of being able to move him around to create mismatches. It’s difficult to imagine he will get a ton of inline work because he is going to have issues blocking NFL competition.
In the slot, out wide or as an H-Back, the Browns can easily manufacture ways to get DeValve the ball just as Princeton did. How expansive his usage is will depend on how much he can pick up and process.
DeValve is a great athlete, but it’s still going to be a big adjustment for him to go from the Ivy League to NFL speed. If he can do it quickly enough, he can find his way into getting early reps and potentially having a nice rookie season. The interesting part of this will be if the Browns utilize both Gary Barnidge and DeValve in the same formation to cause a lot of problems for opposing defenses on how they will attempt to cover them.
Long term, DeValve projects as a matchup problem that has the chance to be a big time player.