CLEVELAND -- Rookie tight end Seth DeValve did plenty of learning during his first professional season with the Cleveland Browns.
A wide receiver at Princeton University, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound DeValve switched to tight end after being selected with the 138th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and while he caught only 10 passes in 12 games, the first-year pro scored a pair of touchdowns.
“The learning experience has been good and gradual,” DeValve said. “I feel like I have gotten better at playing tight end. Probably the biggest transition was blocking in the trenches. There were a lot of things that I got away with in college technique-wise that were not right because I was one of the biggest guys in the Ivy League.
“Blocking guys in the NFL is a little bit different and my technique was exposed a little bit. I think the biggest place I needed to improve and have improved is blocking technique. That is an area that I need to continue to take jumps in to be a bigger contributor on the team.”
DeValve missed four games during the middle of the season, but emerged later in the year, when he caught a pass in seven straight games, including a career-high three receptions in a loss to the New York Giants on November 27.
DeValve’s two touchdowns came at the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively.
“I feel as if I still have a lot more to do and to show what I am capable of,” DeValve said. “Having a healthy offseason and coming back in great shape is probably the most important thing for me. It is good to have that first season under your belt and to know that you belong. We will see how high we can go.”
One of the Browns’ 14 picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, DeValve believes he and his classmates have what it takes to be impactful NFL players in the future.
“I think many of us, if not all of us, contributed in some big ways,” DeValve said. “I had some key roles on the team and made some big plays in crucial moments this season. More importantly than that, it is a good group of guys that work hard.
“From a developmental standpoint, that is what is most important. Time will tell, but I have a great deal of expectations and hope in our group.”