Name: Devin Duvernay
Devin Duvernay originally intended to sign with Baylor under head coach Art Briles, but when Briles lost his job, Baylor did not submit his letter of intent. Duvernay was highly touted as a top 5 WR in the 2016 class, but with the changing of the guard at Baylor, Duvernay ended up attending Texas. He played all four years there, but did not really come on strong until his junior year (41 Rec, 546 Yds, and 4 TDs). His senior year, Duvernay showed up to play, with big time production, posting 106 Rec, 1,386 Yds, and 9 TDs. He was named first-team All-Big 12 as a receiver in 2019.
Duvernay is a YAC weapon, a speedy receiver (4.39 40-yard dash), a bowling ball with superb hands. He excelled his senior season playing almost exclusively from the slot. Duvernay showed the ability to gain separation on deep crossing routes as well as burn corners on vertical routes.
Devin brings a ton of effort in the running game! Duvernay runs with ferocity when the ball is in his hands; the guy does not go down easily on tackle attempts (he’s got the running back mentality at the receiver position). His contact balance is up there with the top running backs in the class. Duvernay’s short to intermediate routes create quick open targets for QBs.
For as much as he will win across the middle of the field, Duvernay is underrated as a catcher of boundary passes (post-corners, corners, fades, speed outs, etc.). He tracks the ball very well on deep passes, but lacks the length in his frame to win some jump balls. He shows up on tape getting open/ separation much more often than not. Duvernay is very natural at catching the ball and getting upfield; he caught tons of screens, swings, and comebacks at Texas. His track speed helps on offense and really shows up in the kick return game.
Best traits: Vertical Speed/YAC/Hands
The more I watched Duvernay, the more impressed I became with his skill level and lack of warts, and the more confused I was about why he didn’t have more hype. The guy played four seasons of college football at a very large, competitive program, the University of Texas.
I honestly think Duvernay has nice route running skills, but he does not run all routes extremely well. He will need work to fill out his route tree, but his current skills will get him on the field early. Duvernay struggles a little bit with elite press coverage, but that is true of almost every receiver. Originally, I thought Duvernay was a bit stiff (perhaps based on reputation) but after watching a good bit of film, I think he has more wiggle and shake to his game than people give him credit for. With that being said, Duvernay looks more like a kick returner than a punt returner (he is faster than he is quick).
Duvernay is a professional, blue collar style receiver. He gets North and South in a hurry and fights through contact for as many yards as possible.
Worst trait: Press Coverage
Red star players can be defined as players on whom scouts stake their reputation because of confidence and belief in the prospect both on the field and off the field. For Baltimore these players embody the phrase “Play Like A Raven.” I believe that Devin Duvernay was one of two red star players that Eric DeCosta referred to the team drafting in the 2020 NFL Draft.
John Harbaugh celebrated a lot when DeCosta drafted Devin. He seems to be a fit in Greg Roman’s offense as a slot receiver and a Z receiver. He will be able to move around the formation and catch screen passes, run ends-around, and threaten defenses vertically. In 2020, I expect Duvernay to get involved as a receiving option and get a shot to return kickoffs. Duvernay will certainly take snaps away from Willie Snead and at times Miles Boykin. Devin’s ceiling in Baltimore could be a Steve Smith Sr. type player (same tough, angry, “ice-up-son” mentality) with increasing targets and catches each year.
Rookie Production Prediction
Duvernay is due for a significant role in his rookie season. Harbaugh is notorious for having rookies sit out a bit too long, instead giving veterans valuable playing time that could be more beneficial to a rookie. This year, I think that trend begins to change in favor of getting the young playmakers on the field with Lamar Jackson. Devin’s sticky hands, easy speed, and running style (with the ball in his hands) lends to schemed up touches and use on all three downs. Duvernay also has the ability to win the starting kick returner job. He has some solid experience in that role, and should offer a bit more upside than DeAnthony Thomas. The other newest WR to Baltimore, James Proche, should fill the punt returning role from the jump.
50 Targets, 44 Receptions, 581 Yards, 4 TDs
8 Rushing Attempts, 67 Yards, 0 TDs
Kick Return Average: 23.2 Yards/Return, 1 TD