Football / Sports

Pittsburgh's Tom Savage selected by Texans

Two Pittsburgh players were selected on the final day of the 2014 NFL Draft on Saturday. First, quarterback Tom Savage went with the 135th overall pick to the Houston Texans. Then, just a few minutes later, his former target, receiver Devin Street, went to the Dallas Cowboys with the 146th overall pick.

Savage's draft stock climbed steadily during his lone season with the Panthers, and seemed to skyrocket in the months since the season ended. Some projections had him going as high as the second round, but he ended up falling to late in the fourth round.

He'll join a Texans team with a quarterback situation still in the air for 2014. Three different quarterbacks started for Houston last year, and former starter Matt Schaub was traded to the Raiders in the offseason.

The positives for Savage are his strong arm and 6-foot-4 frame, prototypical for a pro-style NFL quarterback. Scouts and analysts had concerns, though, about his lack of playing experience in college and uneven results when he was on the field.

"If he had a better protection in front of him (in college), then maybe he would have been able to make those secondary reads a little bit quicker," CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang said before the draft. "I think teams are very intrigued by him, but that's something that he's going to need to work on."

Savage only played one season for Pitt after transferring twice, first from Rutgers then from Arizona. As a senior in 2013, he threw for 2,958 yards with 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

His career started with promise at Rutgers, as he set Big East freshman records for passing yards and touchdowns and was named a freshman All-American in 2009. He lost the starting job the next year, though, and transferred to Arizona.

He never played for the Wildcats, though, as new coach Rich Rodriguez brought a spread system that didn't fit Savage's pro-style skill set. That meant another move, this time to Pitt.

He spent the 2012 season on the Panthers' scout team, and won the starting job in training camp before last season.

Street, meanwhile, left Pitt as one of the most prolific pass-catchers in program history. He set a Pitt career record with 202 catches over four years, and could have broken the program's yardage record as well if an injury didn't cost him the final three games of this season.

Even still, Street caught 51 passes for 854 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013. His career totals were 202 catches for 2,901 yards and 16 touchdowns over four years.

He'll join a Cowboys receiving corps that already includes Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant, but little depth behind him.

(c)2014 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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