Texas wide receiver Devin Duvernay

Devin Duvernay would bring big play ability to Green Bay Packers offense

  • Devin Duvernay
  • Green Bay Packers
  • NFl Draft
By brupp March 23, 2020 0 Comment
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Green Bay needs big-play abilities in their offense, and Texas wide receiver Devin Duvernay is someone that could fill that role in 2020.

It’s no secret that the Green Bay Packers need to address the wide receiver position in the upcoming draft. Luckily for the Packers, the next two drafts will give general manager Brian Gutekunst ample opportunity to revamp the wide receiver position on the fly.

Green Bay has neglected the receiver position for years, and that was painfully evident in 2019. Matt LaFleur’s first season as head coach consisted of Davante Adams (a former second-round pick), a former fifth-round pick, and three former undrafted free agents. The last time the Packers selected a wide receiver within the first 64 picks was Adams, back in 2014.

A player that Gutekunst and his staff could target on day two of the draft is Devin Duvernay. The wide receiver out of Texas worked primarily out of the slot this past season. Duvernay finished 2019 with 106 receptions for 1,386 yards and nine touchdowns. He added one rushing touchdown and brought special teams value as a returner.

How does Devin Duvernay fit in the Packers offense?

Duvernay is built like a running back and rarely goes down on initial contact. According to Pro Football Focus, Duvernay had 719 yards after the catch, which was the most in college football this past season. His ability after the catch is his greatest strength.

“Duvernay’s YAC ability is his best trait on film,” Jake Schyvinck, an NFL Draft analyst for Fansided, said. “He definitely has that running back build, and it helps him after the catch. Duvernay can run through defenders showing great contact balance. He also has the speed to break away from defenders in open space once the ball is in his hands.”

In 2015, Duvernay was the Texas state high school 100-meter dash champion with a time of 10.27. Duvernay has the speed to take the top off, as evident by his 4.39 forty time at the combine. His ability to work underneath and to take the top off the defense makes him a dynamic weapon.

Duvernay has strong hands and makes contested catches look easy. He started 29 games during his time as a Longhorn and only dropped one pass.

“He’s surprisingly successful in contested spots at just 5’11”,” Schyvinck said. “He uses his frame and play strength to box out defenders and has strong hands to pluck the ball out of the air and tuck it away. Duvernay became a red zone threat in 2019 due to that fact and bumped up his production.”

One area of concern for Duvernay is his route running. He has tight hips and doesn’t burst in and out of his cuts.

“His route running needs some work,” Schyvinck said. “He’s best at the slant and seam routes from the slot, but can create some separation with his play strength. Duvernay has tight hips and struggles to snap off most routes, especially his hitch/curl route, where he takes a lot of extra steps at the top of his stem. Because of this, his best usage will be as a gadget player.”

Duvernay’s issues as a route runner wasn’t a problem during his time at Texas, as he was utilized a lot on wide receiver screens and reverses. They got him the ball quickly and let him make things happen in space. His ability to create after the catch and work the underneath routes will allow him to make an immediate impact as a rookie. That’s where LaFleur would utilize Duvernay if he landed in Green Bay.

“I think underneath routes make a ton of sense for him,” Schyvinck said. “Getting him in space with WR screens, sweeps, and reverses would give Matt LaFleur a gadget guy he desperately needs. Duvernay’s great hands would likely grant him trust from Rodgers early on, and having his speed on the field would be a big deal.”

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