CLEVELAND -- By selecting Seth DeValve, a Princeton University product, in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns knew they were getting an intelligent player, one capable of learning at a quick rate.
And the Browns are hoping that the fourth-round pick can turn those lessons he has learned over the first two weeks of training camp into production now that he has returned to the field after experiencing a hamstring injury and suffering through lingering effects.
“Absolutely, it’s very hard to watch,” DeValve said. “It’s very hard to watch. Unfortunately, I’ve been a spectator for much of my time here so far. It’s something you gotta be patient with. A hamstring injury is not something you can tough through like some injuries you can wrap up and get back out there.
“You’ll just keep re-injuring it if you try to do that, so I’ve had to be patient. It’s been very difficult, very frustrating at times watching instead of playing, but my time will come.”
Although DeValve has not been able to take part in many practices because of the hamstring injury, the rookie has taken positives from the experience.
“One of the benefits of getting to sit back is you get to kinda see the whole picture offensively, schematically of what we’re doing,” DeValve said. “Mentally, I feel very prepared and ready to get in and do everything I’m asked to do from a mental standpoint.
“Right now, physically, they’re still working me back into things, so it’ll be an ongoing process however long that takes. I feel prepared mentally in my ability to do whatever I gotta get done.”
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound DeValve, who projects as a tight end, lost nearly four games during the 2015 season because of injuries, but managed to pull in 33 passes for 337 yards and one touchdown, and averaged 56.2 yards per game.
DeValve’s most productive collegiate season came in 2013, when he turned 49 catches into 527 yards and four touchdowns, all of which were career highs.
In his career, DeValve caught 122 passes for 1,336 yards and seven touchdowns, and averaged 44.5 yards per game. In Princeton history, DeValve ranks 10th in receptions and 13th in receiving yards, and he ended his career with a nine-catch, 110-yard performance against Dartmouth.
And with his hamstring injury calming down, DeValve is ready to get to work as a professional.
“I do feel I’m ready,” DeValve said. “You can control the things you can control. If I can’t get on the field, I can be in my notes and in my playbook and in the meetings just as diligently as anybody else, so I do feel prepared to play. I do feel that I know what I’m doing. Now, it’s just a matter of me being able to go out there and do it.
“I’m very much a hybrid tight end-wide receiver in my own mind, one who’s able to block and big enough and strong enough to block, but really, my training up to this point of my career and what I feel best at is route running. That being said, I can be used in different areas to create different mismatch opportunities, but really being strong and fast and mobile for my size is what I bring to the table.”