Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
(percentile rank among all WRs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):
40-yard dash: 4.39 seconds (87th)
Vertical: 35.5” (50th)
Broad: 123” (67th)
3-cone: 7.13 seconds (19th)
20-yard shuttle: 4.2 seconds (53rd)
Duvernay didn’t break out until his senior year. We’ll get to that season in a second. Let’s start with an underwhelming first 3 seasons in Austin.
A top-10 WR in the 2016 recruiting class, Duvernay actually turned in a promising freshman campaign, ranking 2nd on the Longhorns in receiving yards and tying for the team lead in receiving scores.
He nearly disappeared in 2017, though, hitting the stat sheet in just 8 of 13 games and topping 1 catch just once. Duvernay ranked 11th in both catches and receiving yards on a team that wasn’t exactly stacked with pro talent. The top 2 WRs on that Texas team: 2019 undrafted free-agent Lil’Jordan Humphrey and 2020 prospect Collin Johnson.
Duvernay set career highs across the board as a junior but still fell short of registering a real breakout season. He finished 3rd on his team in catches, receiving yards and receiving TDs, registering the following market shares: 13.2%, 15.1% and 14.3%.
So Duvernay’s monster 2019 came out of nowhere. He ranked 3rd in the nation in catches and 5th in receiving yards. He accounted for 34.6% of Texas’ receptions, 36.9% of the yards and 28.1% of the TDs. Those marks rank 2nd, 5th and 16th out of 23 of this year’s top WR prospects. Duvernay’s 2.99 yards per route run ranked 6th among those 23.
He was named first-team All-Big 12 and honorable mention Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
Courtesy of @WhatsOnDraftNFL
Games watched - LSU, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, Utah
Duvernay is short, but he’s not small. He’s sturdily built and plays with nice power and balance after the catch. He twice broke tackle attempts by potential 1st-round safety Grant Delpit in this past season’s game vs. LSU:
Pro Football Focus charted Duvernay with 23 missed tackles forced in 2019 — tied for 5th most in the country. He also averaged a solid 6.8 yards after the catch — tied for 68th — thanks to a nice combination of acceleration and long speed.
That same acceleration and speed makes Duvernay a weapon on deep balls. He caught 12 passes for 432 yards on targets 20+ yards downfield in 2019, according to PFF. Both marks were top 32 in the nation.
Overall, though, Duvernay isn’t as impressive before the catch as he is after it. He’s good against zone coverage, understanding where to settle down to give his QB a throwing lane.
But he rarely saw press coverage playing in the slot against Big 12 defenses. And he struggles creating separation against man coverage on short and intermediate routes.
Per PFF, 42 of Duvernay’s 106 catches last year came on screens. So it’s fair to say his production was largely manufactured by Texas’ offense.
Back on the plus side, Duvernay has some of the most reliable hands in this WR class. He dropped just 5 of 180 catchable targets over the past 4 years — good for a sterling 2.8% drop rate.
Duvernay’s 2019 campaign was super impressive from a raw production, market share and efficiency standpoint. Then he flashed high-end speed with a 4.39-second 40 time at the Combine. That speed shows up on tape on both deep balls and after the catch. And he’s a strong tackle-breaker.
But it’s dangerous to bet on a late breakout like Duvernay. And the tape also shows an inability to separate against man coverage, with a big chunk of his 2019 production coming on screens.
If his NFL team isn’t willing to get him the ball on those manufactured touches, he figures to struggle producing as a pro. We’ll see where Duvernay lands, but he looks like just a late-round flier in your dynasty rookie draft.