On Friday, Devin Duvernay became the second former Texas Longhorns standout to hear his name called during the 2020 NFL Draft, as the the Balitomore Ravens selected the 5’11 receiver in the third round with the No. 92 overall pick.
He’ll join a significant Longhorns contingent with the Ravens that includes kicker Justin Tucker and safeties Earl Thomas and DeShon Elliott.
“In Devin, they’re getting a fierce competitor,” Texas head coach Tom Herman said. “This a guy who I describe as someone that plays angry. He would rather run through you than around you. He’s got elite speed and is a former 100-meter dash state champion in high school, a guy that led the country in the regular season in catches. He has extremely strong hands. I think he had only one drop in his four-year career. Which is amazing considering the number of catches that he had. He’s a team captain, a tremendous leader with great work ethic, and he’s extremely versatile. This is a guy, in talking with a lot of the head coaches that I talked to, although he played in the slot his senior year, he played outside the previous three years. He’s also built like a running back, and we played him in the backfield a little bit, too. He’s a guy that can do it all and certainly did for us this past season.”
Only months removed from a remarkably productive senior campaign in Austin, Duvernay respectively ranked third and fifth nationally after hauling in a Big 12-best 106 receptions for 1,386 yards in 2019; efforts good enough to ranked second all-time at Texas. Courtesy of that All-Big 12 showing, Duvernay climbed into the top 10 all-time at Texas in receptions (176), receiving yards (2,468), and touchdowns (16).
Along the way, Duvernay blossomed from a former high school All-American into a legitimate NFL prospect, and now, the latest addition to the Baltimore roster.
Burnt Orange Nation recently detailed what Duvernay will bring to the table entering the NFL:
A tremendously sure-handed receiver, Duvernay dropped only five of the 244 passes intended for him throughout his tenure at Texas, and hauled in 176 of those targets; making for a mind-boggling drop rate of only 2.04 percent. That number reduces to zero percent in the red zone, where Duvernay never dropped a pass as a Longhorn. Furthermore, beyond the fact that Duvernay catches nearly everything that hits his hands, his track speed — Duvernay is a former Texas 6A high school 100-meter state champion who more recently registered a 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL combine — and bullish running style saw him lead the nation with an incredible 719 yards after catch.
Given that more than half of his 2019 receiving yards came after the catch, it’s evident that Duvernay isn’t widely regarded as a lethal deep threat, and that will likely remain true at the next level. Rather, Duvernay is at his best when his speed and violent running style is utilized with quick passes such as screens or intermediate passes across the middle of the field, where he displays an ability to diagnose the soft spots in coverage and make himself available before essentially becoming a running back with the ball.
Duvernay now becomes the eighth Longhorn selected in the NFL Draft throughout the Tom Herman era, but just the first wide receiver.