The Baltimore Ravens have one of the best rosters in the NFL, so the only questions at this point involve who plays where and fights for key snaps on the field.
When the team gets things going on training camp later this month, the Ravens will have plenty of battles to shake out in order to determine who plays where. One of the biggest spots to watch according to Pro Football Focus is wide receiver, and specifically slot wide receiver.
There, Willie Snead will tangle with Devin Duvernay to see who gets the honors of catching passes from Lamar Jackson. A close battle is projected, with the rookie perhaps getting the late upper hand on the veteran in the process. Pro Football Focus Writer Ben Linsey sees Snead and Duvernay battling it out on the field, and a tight contest playing out in the months and weeks ahead.
“The slot position is more up in the air, however, after the Ravens drafted Duvernay in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The PFF Draft Guide called him one of the top slot receivers in the class, citing his reliable hands and after-the-catch ability as reasons why. Duvernay adds more juice to the position than Snead would, but Snead had the advantage of being the incumbent, the veteran who already knows the system.”
As for what happens when the battle plays out, Linsey projects that Proche will be pushing Snead hard for a role, and might even take over some snaps when all is said and done.
“Snead may be the incumbent, which will likely earn him a starting job to start the year, but his play since his first two seasons with the New Orleans Saints hasn’t been anything special. Snead earned a receiving grade of just 58.9 in 2019 with Baltimore. Duvernay’s speed and after-the-catch ability is something that Roman will want to get on the field so that he can add another game-breaker to an offense that is already very fast.”
Both Duvernay and James Proche will add an intriguing element to the team’s offense with their speed and hands this season, so to that end, the group seems much deeper and much more ready to make a huge impact for Jackson on the field.
Whomever wins this battle, it will be another great player coming into the mix to help the team’s offense make more big plays.
Devin Duvernay Stats
Duvernay has been a big play machine at Texas and has all the tools to be one of the most underrated yet impressive wideouts in the league. Duvernay showed up well during the Senior Bowl and his solid pre-draft work was enough to get him noticed by the Ravens. They were very interested in what he does as a speed option, as he was perhaps one of the best impact makers that could have been had later on in the draft in 2020.
Duvernay’s production at Texas, which included 2,468 yards and 16 scores, was good enough to make him one of the best wideouts in the Big 12, so betting against him making a quick impact in the NFL would be foolish.
Willie Snead Stats
In his career, Snead has been a solid receiver, putting up 2,961 yards and 13 touchdowns. His career took off when he played for the New Orleans Saints, but when he was signed by the Ravens, the hope was his pass catching prowess would put Baltimore over the top.
So far, that’s been the case as Snead has been a trusted option for Lamar Jackson and the team’s offense and looks to be a key option moving forward for the passing attack in Baltimore.
Snead and Proche will do battle to see who plays the bigger role, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that both will help make the team deeper and better no matter who wins out.