Devontez Walker’s Dynasty Rookie Profile | Baltimore Ravens WR Fantasy Football Outlook

After the Baltimore Ravens parted ways with Odell Beckham Jr. this offseason, what can dynasty managers expect from WR Devontez Walker in his rookie year?

The Baltimore Ravens didn’t exactly sit on their hands this offseason after quarterback Lamar Jackson won his second league MVP award with an outstanding 2023 campaign. In fact, in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Ravens selected an explosive vertical weapon in North Carolina WR Devontez “Tez” Walker.

After Baltimore decided to part ways with Odell Beckham Jr. this offseason and Jackson’s noteworthy improvement as a passer last year, what can dynasty fantasy football managers expect from Walker in his rookie year?

Should You Draft Devontez Walker in Dynasty Fantasy Football?

Walker has the type of size (6’1’’, 193 pounds) and speed (4.36 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine) to be a difference-making vertical weapon on the outside. He flashed a natural ability to effortlessly stack defenders on vertical routes with ample curvilinear acceleration and long speed to torture sluggish defensive backs.

Yet, Walker’s game outside of that skill set is fairly unpolished. His ability to sink his hips at the breakpoint, deceive defenders during the stem phase, and ability to win in contested-catch situations are a bit inconsistent and could lead to some issues early in his career.

Yet, Baltimore’s offense could certainly use a vertical threat to work alongside Zay Flowers, Rashod Bateman, and Mark Andrews.

Despite showing vast improvement through the air in the team’s first year under offensive coordinator Todd Monken, the Ravens still finished 31st in the NFL with just 29.1 passing attempts per game. This could make it tough for Walker to see enough volume to be a consistent fantasy producer early in his career.

Walker is still a nice WR prospect to invest third or fourth-round draft capital into during your dynasty rookie draft.

Who Is Walker?

Background

Walker is a rangy outside receiver prospect who has the ideal height, length, and vertical speed that most recruiters tend to fall in love with. Yet, the interesting thing is that he wasn’t a highly touted prospect coming out of West Charlotte High School in North Carolina.

Walker was listed as a three-star prospect by 247 Sports and received just a two-star rating from Rivals. He had a productive prep career with 48 receptions for 923 yards and two touchdowns while also making an impact on defense with 36 tackles and six interceptions.

College Production

It has been an orthodox journey for Walker throughout his collegiate days. He originally enrolled at North Carolina Central to play college football heading into the 2020 season but did not appear in any games due to the FCS season being canceled following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walker transferred to Kent State ahead of the 2021 season and made a minimal impact during his freshman year with five receptions for 124 yards and a score. After a slow start, he finally broke out in 2022 with 58 receptions for 921 yards and 11 touchdowns in his second year with the Golden Flashes.

KEEP READING: Dynasty Rookie Rankings

Despite his great production in his sophomore campaign with Kent State, Walker decided to transfer to North Carolina ahead of his junior year. That resulted in a controversial decision from the NCAA, which determined Walker was a two-time transfer and was originally denied eligibility for the 2023 season.

Fortunately, this situation only cost Walker four games last year, and he would go on to finish his collegiate career on a high note with 41 receptions for 699 yards and seven TDs in only eight games.

Injury History

Walker suffered a season-ending knee injury during his senior year at West Charlotte High School.

In 2023, he was taken to the hospital after suffering a big hit against Georgia Tech. Walker said he was fine after and ended up playing against Campbell the next week.

Walker’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Strong hands at the catch point; very good, but not elite, in contested-catch situations in 2023; attacks the ball with confidence away from his frame.
  • Great feel adjusting to the ball while it’s in flight; ball-tracking skills are among some of the best in this class.
  • Strider speed who can threaten defenses vertically.
  • Nice feel for stacking defenders once he wins vertically to create ideal body position to box out defenders at the catch point.
  • Prototypical size and speed to operate as an X-receiver on the outside at the NFL level.
  • Diverse release package against press coverage.
  • Spatial awareness is present on throws near the sideline; good feel for the boundary and operating effectively with drawing feet near the sideline.

Weaknesses

  • Despite displaying great strength at the catch point, Walker’s play strength through contact with the ball in his hands was fairly average; forced far fewer missed tackles in 2023 once the level of competition jumped at North Carolina; lack of elusiveness and hip fluidity limited his yards after the catch production in 2023.
  • Lacks the diverse route tree and route-running polish of some of his contemporaries.
  • Creating separation consistently could be an issue against NFL-caliber corners; Walker’s lack of deception at the top of his routes could telegraph his path against more disciplined defenders at the next level.
  • Some play-strength issues exist against physical corners in press coverage and at the top of his route.

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Related Articles