Ravens Wide Receiver Devin Duvernay Could Break Out in 2021
Duvernay’s Rookie Campaign
Baltimore Ravens receiver Devin Duvernay, out of Texas University, was selected in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, with the 92nd overall pick. Duvernay recorded 20 catches for 201 yards, along with four carries for 70 yards on the ground. On top of this, Duvernay performed very well as a returner, with 578 return yards on 21 kickoff returns. This included a 91-yard kickoff return touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3.
Although Duvernay did not have a big rookie season by any means, he showed potential. Almost every time he touched the ball he was creating big plays, averaging 10 yards per catch and 17.5 yards per carry. Duvernay showed explosiveness and made some outstanding plays, showing incredible talent in flashes throughout the season. However, he did not get much of an opportunity to showcase that talent, with just 26 targets all season. Duvernay played only 37.2% of snaps, and only got 7.1% of the targets in the Ravens offense. This is likely due to the Ravens run-heavy offensive scheme.
2021 Season Outlook
In 2021, Duvernay may finally get his opportunity. Ravens receiver Willie Snead will hit free agency this off-season, and he will most likely not be returning to Baltimore. After Duvernay’s incredible performance on his few reps in 2020, Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman may be willing to give him the slot receiver role that Willie Snead possessed. This would result in more targets for Duvernay. Admittedly, the Ravens will likely be targeting a top-tier outside receiver this off-season via free agency, a trade, or the draft. However, Duvernay is a very versatile player who can function in the slot. For context, Duvernay took 41.3% of his snaps in 2020 from the slot. If Willie Snead does not re-sign, this number will more than likely increase in 2021.
As mentioned, the Ravens will likely be targeting a top-tier true number one outside wide receiver to fix a major weakness. In addition, Marquise Brown, a former first round pick in 2019, will likely continue to be one of the Ravens’ top targets at wide receiver. The other notable receiver in that offense is Miles Boykin, a 2019 third round pick. Duvernay has proven to be a better overall player than Boykin, so he should get a fair bit more playing time than Boykin. However, he will be battling with Marquise Brown for that number three spot, depending on how free agency and the draft go for the Ravens.
Wide Receiver Battle on the Horizon
If Devin Duvernay does win the battle for the number three spot behind Marquise Brown, then he will see the field significantly more. And due to his talent, it may be fair to say that if Marquise Brown continues to perform at a low level like he has the past couple years, Duvernay may even make his way up to be higher than Brown on the depth chart. Only time will tell, as Brown could just as easily take a step forward in 2021.
Regardless, Duvernay’s talent was evident during his 2020 rookie campaign to anyone who consistently watched the Ravens play. If Duvernay gets more targets and more snaps in the Ravens offense during the 2021 season, he will be primed to have a breakout season, and his name may become more well-known. For now, Duvernay is a great player to stash in fantasy dynasty leagues for a potential breakout season in 2021.
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