Devin Duvernay Has Big Play Ability (2020 NFL Draft)
Devin Duvernay, Texas
Weight: 200 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.39 seconds
Vertical Jump: 35.5 inches
Broad Jump: 123.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 7.13 seconds
In recent years, we’ve seen the value of pure slot receivers rise in the NFL. As more and more offenses go to 11-personnel (1 RB & 1 TE, which means that there are 3 WRs on the field) there’s a need for WRs who can get off the line of scrimmage quickly and make things happen in the middle of the field.
Devin Duvernay fits that profile. At his size, he’s not going to be asked to play outside frequently, but he possesses the ability to be a fantastic option out of the slot for a NFL offense. While he’s sure-handed, it’s primarily his speed and big play potential that makes him an extremely intriguing option for fantasy football.
Just how good is Duvernay and where should we be valuing him in Dynasty rookie drafts?
Those questions are answered here in my detailed scouting report on Devin Duvernay (ratings out of five stars):
Duvernay isn’t going to grade out highly for me in this section just purely based on who he is as a player. Duvernay, as listed above, is 5’10/200 and purely played the slot at Texas. His weight isn’t the lightest for a WR, but he’s not going to have the size to consistently win on the outside. With that being said, Duvernay’s a RB with the ball in his hands and you wouldn’t know that he’s only 200 pounds. He can make a defender feel his presence.
Devin Duvernay RAN THROUGH Grant Delpit. pic.twitter.com/gpghzQA1QN
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) September 8, 2019
Route Running/Ability to Separate
Duvernay’s a crisp route-runner with tremendous burst to create separation at the top of his breaks. He carries his momentum so well and is able to shift his weight to snap in and out of breaks easily. While a lot of Duvernay’s touches came on swing passes, crossers, screens, etc. he was still used all over the field and showed his ability to run a full route tree.
#Texas WR Devin Duvernay is a flat out STUD.
He leads the nation in receptions per game & has improved his draft stock more than any! 💰💰 pic.twitter.com/Yjzy50Iarl
— Emmanuel Acho (@thEMANacho) October 26, 2019
At the 2020 NFL Combine, Duvernay ran a 4.39 40-yard dash. That’s not a fluke run either. His ability to pull away and break off a big play shows up time and time again on his tape. He’s a former track guy and that translates over to the NFL field. While some slot receivers in the NFL have excellent hands, the majority of them lack any sort of true speed/acceleration to their games. Duvernay can come in from day one and take a shallow crossing route across the field and simply out-run the entire defense.
DEVIN DUVERNAY KEEPING TEXAS ALIVE! pic.twitter.com/dUxUqTFPDc
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 8, 2019
Duvernay finished with 106 receptions for 1,386 yards and 9 touchdowns last season at Texas. When you put on the tape, you’ll notice that he catches absolutely everything thrown his way. As mentioned before though, these passes are not all just behind the line of scrimmage or within five yards. He’s being used downfield as a field stretcher out of the slot or put in contested catch situations. He somehow always comes down with the ball.
Remember when Devin Duvernay was snubbed from the major postseason awards?
His highlight reel tonight against Utah: pic.twitter.com/B7P1r58rk1
— Jake García (@Jake_M_Garcia) January 1, 2020
While Duvernay wasn’t primarily used downfield, he’s shown enough of a proficiency to be used that way in the NFL occasionally. He’s shown the ability time and time again to track the ball while it’s in the air and highpoint the catch, regardless of his size.
This route from Devin Duvernay. 😍
He's got that #ToeTapSwag
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) December 10, 2019
After the Catch
If you watched the Grant Delpit clip above, you saw how Duvernay turns into a RB with the ball in his hands. You simply just don’t want to get in his way…or you need to make sure that you’re prepared. However, Duvernay picks and chooses his spots when to engage like that. In other instances, he’ll wisely duck out of bounds or try to make a defender miss in the open field and turn on the jets. If Duvernay hits open grass, there’s no way you’re catching him.
Projected Draft Spot
Due to being a pure slot receiver, NFL teams aren’t going to value him as highly as we might for fantasy football. Duvernay’s a likely candidate to go somewhere in the 3rd/4th round of the NFL Draft and fall into a great spot for fantasy football. The Philadelphia Eagles have a dire need for a slot receiver and could target defensive players with their first two picks, which could put Duvernay in their sights in the 3rd or 4th round. Regardless of where he ends up, he’s going to be given the starting role as the slot receiver, which only means opportunity for fantasy football. As established above, he has the talent to capitalize. We should be looking at him in the 2nd round of our Dynasty rookie drafts.
When watching Duvernay on tape, two players come to mind when evaluating his play style: Golden Tate and Deebo Samuel. Duvernay fills a Tate role in the NFL and could have the same effect as a YAC player, but he runs like Samuel does with the ball in his hands. Those are two very good players and Duvernay could have the same type of impact in the NFL.
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