Ravens rookie Devin Duvernay has skills to be a game-breaker

Todd Karpovich

The hype around Devin Duvernay has been building since he landed with the Ravens in this year's NFL draft.

The wide receiver from Texas is expected to add another dimension to Baltimore's attack with his speed and toughness — two areas supported by the analytics.

  • Duvernay led all receivers in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision with 14 missed tackles, ahead of Pitt's Maurice Ffrench (11), Western Michigan's Keith Mixon Jr. (10) and South Carolina's Bryan Edwards (10), according to PFF College. 
  • Duvernay was also the highest-graded receiver against man-coverage in the Big 12 with a 91.5 rating, well ahead of Baylor's Denzel Mims (82).
  • Finally, Duvernay was second in the FBS with 104 receptions in the slot, behind LSU's Justin Jefferson (109). 

The Ravens were stunned when Duvernay fell to them in the third round of the draft.  General manager Eric DeCosta said Duvernay was one of his favorite prospects and he is confident that he's a perfect fit for the Ravens' offense.

"I just like Devin’s competitive streak," DeCosta said. "His nature – he’s a tough guy. He reminds me of a few guys that we’ve had here in Baltimore, and I’ll reference guys like Anquan [Boldin], Derrick Mason, and of course Steve Smith [Sr]. Those guys all had a competitive spirit about them that made them really stand out.

"I don’t think Devin is the biggest guy by any stretch, but he’s very tough, very physical, catches the ball really well, and he’s really tough with the football."

Duvernay, 5-foot-11, 210 pounds, is expected to make an immediate impact in Baltimore. He's especially proficient in the slot and will battle Willie Snead for the starting job.

“I bring versatility, toughness, physicality, being able to not just go deep [but] go short, take it the distance, be involved in the screen game and blocking," Duvernay said. "I’ll kind of be an all-around player. I’m super excited. Ready to work. Ready to learn.” 

Last season, Duvernay started all 13 games for the Longhorns, earning first-team All-Big 12 honors for the first time in his career and was honorable mention as Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. He was also a semifinalist for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award.

Overall, Duvernay caught 106 passes for 1,341 yards — the second-most in school history — with nine touchdowns.

"We just wanted to get another fast guy in the offense, a speed guy," DeCosta said. "One, you got a guy that caught 106 balls. In his career, he had over 160 catches with one drop. That's what we had in our count. I didn't see a drop on tape this last year. [He had] numerous catches over the top of guys."