Garrett Ferguson: Devin Duvernay
With such a great draft class it was hard for me to pick one selection as my favorite but after some evaluation, I’ve decided it’s Devin Duvernay. Duvernay is a receiver I liked early on in the draft process and I hoped he’d land in Baltimore but didn’t think it would actually happen. He has everything Baltimore was looking for in a receiver:
Hands: Five drops on 244 targets = 2.04% drop rate
Duvernay may not seem very big on paper but he plays like he’s coming for your lunch money and that’s a mentality the Ravens have been missing at the receiver position since Steve Smith Sr. left in early 2017. Pairing that rugged mentality with his breakaway speed gives him a legitimate shot at starting in the slot come September.
If Duvernay takes over in the slot that means Willie Snead IV will have to take the backseat and that might be a good thing. I love Snead but he’s already hit his ceiling and its average-good play at best. He’s a reliable target in the slot but he dropped too many passes last season and he doesn’t possess the breakaway speed Duvernay does.
In a perfect world, Marquise Brown takes the next step and becomes a true #1 receiver, Miles Boykin breaks out and becomes the long-awaited “X” receiver, and Duvernay becomes a nightmare in the slot. I also can’t forget about 6th round pick Josh Proche who also has really good hands and can make freaky acrobatic catches. Duvernay and Brown are both deadly after the catch and will complement each other very well as defensive coordinators will have to game plan for two-speed threats instead of one.
Lastly, the final selling point for me is Duvernay’s superb route running up the seam which is not so coincidentally Lamar Jackson‘s favorite place to throw, just ask Pro Bowl tight end, Mark Andrews. The combination of speed, size, and strong hands in this receiving group provides Lamar Jackson with the weapons he needs to take his game to the next level as a passer. Eric DeCosta said he wanted to build a track team and he did just that.