Ex-Ravens WR Made Bold Prediction About Devontez Walker

Devontez Walker

Getty A former Baltimore Ravens' WR made a bold, pre-draft prediction about 4th-round pick Devontez Walker.

He didn’t come off the board until the 113th-overall pick of the 2024 NFL draft, but Devontez Walker will be a starter in the pros sooner rather than later, according to former Baltimore Ravens’ wide receiver Steve Smith Sr.

Smith, who topped 1,000-yards receiving for the Ravens in 2014, made his bold prediction about Walker back on April 3. He was speaking on an episode of “Agent 89 Breakdown,” presented by Underdog, and offered a detailed breakdown of Walker’s strengths and weaknesses.

Smith believes (h/t “Ravens Vault” co-host Bobby Trosset) “you’ll see dramatic change once he (Walker) gets in the building. Then once he get in the offseason, I would say his second year, he come out, he may end up taking somebody’s job.”

Going deeper, Smith is convinced Walker will have to focus on the little things if he’s going to make it in the pros: “moving forward, once he gets with a coach that locks him in. That now he’s living, breathing football constantly, harping on his game. Going into details, looking at the finite little small things about his feet. Where’s your right foot when you come down? Where’s your left foot? Not being too high, not being too low. Not overselling, not underselling.”

That’s a credible assessment from somebody who knows better than most what it takes to be a great receiver. Smith posted eight 1,000-yard seasons while earning five Pro Bowl nods and twice being named a first-team All-Pro, all after entering the league as third-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2001.

If Walker treads the same path, the Ravens will have gotten exceptional value from a fourth-round selection.

Devontez Walker Can Make Impact as a Rookie

Field-stretching speed is the at the core of Walker’s game. His vertical potential was highlighted by NFL Films.

Walker averaged 15 yards per catch at North Carolina in 2023, per Sports Reference. The 6-foot-2, 193-pounder’s size and speed combination can expand any passing game, much like another ex-Ravens draft pick once did.

Devontez Walker Reminded Ravens of Another Draft WR

Smith identified areas where Walker can improve, but general manager Eric DeCosta was thinking of another former Baltimore wideout when he made the pick. DeCosta had Torrey Smith in mind, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.

Smith helped the Ravens win the 2013 Super Bowl after being drafted in the second round back in 2011. He tallied 16.9 yards a catch during four years in Baltimore.

Walker and Smith are a good comparison because neither are big-bodied targets, but both have the long stride and acceleration to attack the perimeter. Those qualities mean Walker should be an asset for Lamar Jackson in Year 1.

Jackson has Zay Flowers and Nelson Agholor who can win underneath and from the slot. His primary deep threat is likely to be a returning Rashod Bateman.

The latter has missed 17 games due to groin, foot and hamstring injuries. Bateman’s struggles staying healthy mean it makes sense for the Ravens to have added a true burner to the mix.

As Bleacher Report’s Derrik Klassen put it, “Speed will always play in the NFL.” It’s why Walker has the chance to make his presence known even before Smith predicted.

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