Devin Duvernay has big-play potential for the Baltimore Ravens as both a wide receiver and kick returner, but his greater value could be in helping the team land a versatile pass-rusher with upside.
That’s the idea put forward by Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine, who advises the Ravens trade Duvernay to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for Carlos “Boogie” Basham Jr. The deal would also net Baltimore a sixth-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft.
It’s a favorable proposal for the Ravens, and Ballentine believes Basham is a “buy-low candidate who could break out in their defense.” Specifically, “Basham has the size to play on the outside or kick in. With David Ojabo and Odafe Oweh still coming along, Basham would provide another young defensive lineman to develop.”
What’s interesting about this trade scenario is how it would suit each player involved. Duvernay and Basham are both potential victims of overcrowded rotations at their respective positions.
Devin Duvernay Looks Lost Amid Wide Receiver Reshuffle
As Ballentine pointed out, the Ravens have an abundance of talent at wideout after signing Odell Beckham Jr. in free agency and selecting Zay Flowers 22nd overall in this year’s draft.
Flowers and Beckham aren’t the only new arrivals. The Ravens also signed Nelson Agholor, a former first-round pick for the Philadelphia Eagles, who spent last season with the New England Patriots and has legitimate talent as a deep threat.
Add in Rashod Bateman and there’s little room for Duvernay to make an impact. That’s a shame since the 25-year-old possesses true vertical speed, a quality Duvernay showed with just two catches against the New York Jets in Week 1, per PFF BAL Ravens.
Duvernay is also a game-breaker in the return game. He earned Pro Bowl honors as a returner in both 2021 and ’22.
Duvernay’s skills in the kicking game would be missed, but the Ravens have other candidates who could handle those chores, including Flowers and running back Justice Hill. By contrast, the roster sill lacks credible depth at edge-rusher behind prospective starters Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo.
Pass Rush Depth Still an Issue for Ravens
There’s no Justin Houston nor Jason Pierre-Paul to provide a proven track record for creating pressure in a situational role. Both veterans remain free agents, but 28-year-old Tyus Bowser is still in the mix, although he missed eight games last season while recovering from a torn Achilles.
What the Ravens need is a pass-rusher able to complement Oweh and Ojabo more effectively. Basham qualifies thanks to being able to line up on either side of the formation, as well as operate as an outside linebacker or defensive end.
He’s only 25, so there’s room to grow and build on the 4.5 sacks he’s posted through two seasons in the pros. While that’s a modest number, Basham showcased a flair for the big play by tipping and intercepting a pass from Los Angeles Rams’ quarterback Matthew Stafford in Week 1 last season.
What’s more intriguing about Basham’s potential is his experience at defensive tackle. It’s where he lined up often for Wake Forest, earning praise for “closing juice” from Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy ahead of the 2021 draft.
Basham is flexible and relentless, but like Ballentine suggested, “the Bills have a crowded edge-rusher rotation with Von Miller, A.J. Epenesa, Greg Rousseau and Shaq Lawson.”
The Ravens’ pass-rush department isn’t as crowded, so they could offer Basham more snaps. Sliding Basham inside, while Ojabo, Oweh and Bowser occupy the edges, would confuse and overwhelm blocking schemes in obvious passing situations.