Baltimore Ravens: Devin Duvernay will see increased role in 2021

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

It wasn’t the most exciting rookie season ever, but there’s hope for Devin Duvernay to see a more expanded role in the Baltimore Ravens offense in 2021.

The Baltimore Ravens have recently signed explosive veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins. However, could this upcoming season be a promising year for another wide receiver within the organization?

Defenses across the league are quite familiar with the dynamic playmaking ability of Baltimore Raven’s quarterback Lamar Jackson, running back J.K. Dobbins, and recent signee Sammy Watkins. Nevertheless, in order for the offense to improve from last season, there will need to be valuable contributions from other talents on the roster.

The Ravens finished the 2020 season with an 11-5 record and will aim to solve the offensive inconsistencies that plagued the team this past season.  For example, the Ravens will need to improve a passing offense that ranked last in the entire NFL, averaging just over 170 passing yards per game.  In fact, the receiver unit ranked last in receiving yards and receptions by the end of the season.

During the AFC Divisional Round, the Ravens were unable to find the endzone in a 17-3 losing effort to the Buffalo Bills. After three quarters, Lamar Jackson left the game late due to injury but was only able to complete 14 passes for 162-yards. The Pro Bowl quarterback finished the game with a 58.3 passer rating and an interception.

Contrarily, during the 2020 season, the Baltimore Ravens ranked #1 in rushing yards in the entire NFL. The Ravens amassed over 3,000-yards rushing with an average of over 5.0 yards per rush. Additionally, the team ranked #1 in rushing attempts and ultimately led the NFL in rushing first downs with 166.

However, for the Ravens to remain AFC contenders, the passing offense must improve and receiver Devin Duvernay will need to become an integral part of the offense. The wide receiver out of the University of Texas was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft.  During his four years at Texas, Duvernay accumulated over 2,400-yards receiving with an average of 14 YPR. Duvernay climbed draft boards after finishing his senior season with 106 receptions,1,386 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns.

In his rookie campaign with the Ravens, Duvernay caught 20 receptions for 201 yards averaging 10 yards per reception. Despite the low numbers, the receiver showed the ability to consistently create separation from defensive backs using a combination of speed, vision, and athleticism.

Duvernay’s best play as a member of the Baltimore Ravens came in Week 3 against the AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs. In the Week 3 matchup, Duvernay displayed electric speed with a 93-yard kickoff return early in the 2nd quarter.

While the Baltimore Ravens have tight end Mark Andrews, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, and the newly added Sammy Watkins as the featured playmakers in the passing game expect Devin Duvernay to make huge contributions for a passing offense that ranked 32nd in passing yards per game in 2020.

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In the NFL, the most successful teams do not flourish under the production of just their star athletes but through utilizing the specific talent of each weapon on the team. Therefore, if the Baltimore Ravens want to remain one of the league’s best, expect Devin Duvernay to have an expanded role in the upcoming season.