Texas wide receiver Devin Duvernay came out of nowhere to finish third in the nation last season with 106 receptions. His 1,386 receiving yards was fifth-best in the nation. His receptions and receiving yards was good for second place all-time in Texas history. And Duvernay led all conference receivers in receptions, receptions per game, receiving yards and receiving yards per game. To top it off, his nine touchdown receptions was third-best in the conference.
And if there was any lingering doubts, Duvernay ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash at the Combine, tied for the fourth-fastest time among receivers.
And yet, the 5-foot-10, 200-pound senior still doesn’t crack the top 100 in many analysts’ rankings. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com lists Duvernay as the 21st-best receiver. Dane Brugler of The Athletic also lists Duvernay as the 21st-best receiver. And Eric Edholm, NFL draft analyst for Yahoo Sports, says Duvernay just missed his top-100 rankings. (You can read Edholm’s insightful player rankings here.)
— Thomas R. Petersen 🦅 (@thomasrp93) February 9, 2020
So why isn’t Duvernay ranked higher?
He can blame the overall depth of the 2020 receiver class for that.
When asked what round he thought Duvernay would land, Edholm said “I’d guess Round 4.”
“But if that alone doesn’t demonstrate how deep this WR class is, then I don’t know what else will,” Edholm said in an interview with Fanspeak.
“In a normal year, he might be a top-75 pick.”
Duvernay wasn’t even Texas’ top receiver prospect entering the season.
Collin Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 222-pound junior, entered the season as a potential first-rounder following a solid sophomore season. Instead, Johnson had a somewhat disappointing and injury-plagued season in which he missed four games but still entered the draft.
Johnson, who is generally seen as a Day 3-receiver, suffered a hip flexor injury during pre-Combine workouts. So, he skipped workouts and planned on going through drills during Texas’ Pro Day – which ultimately was canceled due to the virus outbreak.
“I think Johnson goes later, maybe Rounds 5-6,” Edholm said. “Such different players (Collins vs. Duvernay), but to me, Duvernay has a more diverse and useful skill set all-around.
“I like him. (Duvernay) just missed my top-100, and I kind of regret that.”
Jake Rigdon (firstname.lastname@example.org) covers the NFL draft for Fanspeak and the On The Clock, which is the only NFL draft simulator that allows you to customize and use your own big board while giving you control over trades.