Ravens wide receiver Devontez Walker strives to make impact in rookie year

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens wide receivers coach Greg Lewis called Devontez Walker a “sponge.”

The rookie from North Carolina has been active in the meeting rooms and has made several catches in traffic at the recent Organized Team Activities.

The Ravens hope Walker can be the type of player who can stretch a defense.

So far, he has provided a reason for that optimism.

“[Devontez Walker] is a sponge,” Lewis said. “He wants to know everything, and he’s doing a great job with that. You see his length and his speed out there on the field and [him] making big-bodied catches but then he can take the top off coverages. He’s doing a great job as far as the offense is concerned, learning and understanding what we’re trying to do is different than what he did in college. It’s a lot of nuances, and he’s picking them up seamlessly, so I’m excited [for] where he’s at now and where he can go in the future.”

Walker attended three colleges — North Carolina Central, Kent, and North Carolina before the Ravens selected him in the fourth round of this year’s draft.

Walker never played a snap at North Carolina Central in 2020 because the season was canceled by the Covid-19 pandemic. He transferred to Kent State in 2021 and finished the 2021 season with five receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown.

The following year, he had 58 receptions for 921 yards and 11 touchdowns and was named first-team All-MAC, but he left after the departure of head coach Sean Lewis.

He transferred to North Carolina but the NCAA initially denied his waiver to play under their new two-time transfer rule. The NCAA eventually reversed the decision and he appeared in eight games, finishing with 41 receptions for 699 yards and seven touchdowns.

At 6 feet 1, 193 pounds, Walker is a physical wide receiver and should complement the speedy players on the roster. Scouts said that Walker does need to improve on his route running, but he has been lauded for his ability to make contested catches in tight coverage.

He is excited to work with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, a two-time NFL MVP. The Ravens hope Walker and Jackson can convert some explosive plays downfield this season, an area that was lacking at times last year.

“I’ve been watching Lamar since he came out of high school, watched him at Louisville,” Walker said. “I think he’s a great football player. He’s somebody that I wished I was on his team, and now that wish is coming true. He’s a great player. I love watching him, so I’m looking forward to being alongside of him.”


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