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Pitt CB M.J. Devonshire Measures Well, Runs Well in 40-Yard Dash



Pitt defensive back M.J. Devonshire. ACC.

M.J. Devonshire was expected to be one of the faster cornerbacks at the NFL Combine, and while he wasn’t able to hit the 4.3s, he put together a solid showing in the 40-yard dash.

Devonshire legged out a 4.45 in his first attempt and followed it up with a 4.48. That’s certainly not slow. It may not have been exactly what Devonshire wanted, but it’s the continuation of a very solid week in Indianapolis for the Combine.

He measured in at 5-foot-10 3/4, 186 pounds, but he has 32 7/8-inch arms, 8 6/8-inch hands and a 78 6/8-inch wingspan. So, despite the smaller frame, Devonshire has some of the longest arms — and the longest wingspans — of any cornerback in the class. It’s those physical tools that stand out.

He also put in a 38.5-inch vertical and a 10-foot-4-inch broad jump in the drills portion of his Combine experience.

It’s the continuation of a stong pre-draft process for Devonshire, turning his Shrine Bowl success into Combine success, and it’s highly likely that he’ll hear his name called in the 2024 NFL Draft. And Pitt helped prepare him for the opportunity, of course.

“I definitely feel like (playing in the Pitt defensive system) will be an advantage for me,” Devonshire told PSN at the Shrine Bowl. “I embraced it, I loved it, it let me showcase the skills that I have and it was great being in that system every day and competing in that system.

“Just being hands-on and being physical at the line of scrimmage, I learned at a young age, the more you can control and win at the line of scrimmage, the better you’ll be in the whole aspect of route running as a receiver. I learned that get my hands on, trusting my technique and staying square, staying patient and trusting my speed, I was gonna win a lot more battles than I lost.”

It wasn’t the easiest season for Devonshire in 2023. To say it wasn’t an easy season for Pitt would be putting it lightly. But Devonshire battled through adversity, stepped up as a leader in the locker room and continued to do what he’s done his entire career as a Panther. Produce.

He finished the 2023 season with 32 tackles (18 solo), 0.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and 10 pass breakups. He was a workhorse in 2023, taking a team-high 662 defensive snaps, and according to PFF, he allowed just a 47.4 completion percentage when targeted by opposing quarterbacks.

And on the night that Darrelle Revis returned to Pittsburgh to be inducted into the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame, serving as an honorary captain before the Louisville game, Devonshire showed up in a major upset win.

Louisville quarterback Jack Plummer targeted Devonshire 14 times Saturday night. 14. And Devonshire allowed just four completions for 34 yards, broke up five pass attempts and picked off Plummer once. It was a pretty impactful interception, too.

In his Pitt career, after playing his first two seasons at Kentucky, he finished with 83 tackles (51 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss, eight interceptions (three returned for touchdowns) and 21 pass breakups. And he was an All-ACC punt returner in 2022.

He would be just the latest Pitt defensive back to be drafted in recent seasons, joining the likes of Damar Hamlin, Dane Jackson, Damarri Mathis, Brandon Hill, Erick Hallett, Jason Pinnock, Jordan Whitehead and Avonte Maddox.

The 2024 NFL Draft is scheduled to kick off on April 25, 2024, with Detroit’s Ford Field hosting the three-day spectacle this time around.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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