Browns Draft Prospect: North Carolina wide receiver Devontez Walker

The 6-foot-2 wide receiver from North Carolina could be a great fit for the Cleveland Browns in the 2024 draft.

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With the Cleveland Browns looking to improve upon their 11-6 mark this past season, we look ahead to the 2024 NFL Draft. There are some intriguing prospects to consider, even without a pick in Round 1. We've already dove into a few defenders, so let's check out a potential deep threat for the offense

Devontez Walker, a 6’2 ½, 200-pound wide receiver, helped lead the North Carolina Tar Heels to the Duke’s Mayo Bowl appearance in 2023. Walker was a three-star recruit out of high school who initially committed to North Carolina Central but left the university after the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19. 

Walker transferred to Kent State University in 2021 to play for head coach Sean Lewis and his ‘FlashFast’ offense. Through eight games, Walker recorded five receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown. Walker’s breakout came during the 2022 season, being named first-team All-MAC after catching 58 passes for 921 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

At the conclusion of the 2022 season, Devontez Walker entered the transfer portal after it was announced that head coach Sean Lewis would leave the program to join Deion Sanders in Colorado as the new offensive coordinator for the Buffaloes. Walker decided to return to his home state, and the University of North Carolina would be the perfect place to finish his collegiate career. 

Once at UNC, Walker caught 41 passes for 699 yards and seven touchdowns. The Tar Heels finished the 2023 campaign 8-5 and were headed to Charlotte to face off against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. Walker opted to sit out the Mayo Bowl as he prepared for the 2024 NFL Draft. 

Walker’s noted strengths according to Bleacher Report: 

  • Elite acceleration and top speed. Instant high-impact deep threat.
  • Very good lateral explosion.
  • Good YAC skills centered around speed and explosiveness.
  • Above-average ball skills and hands. Can catch outside his frame and adjust to the ball in the air.

Walker’s noted weaknesses: 

  •  Below-average ability to win at the line of scrimmage and combat press coverage.
  • Inconsistent route-runner. Too often takes extra steps and struggles to gather himself comfortably.
  • Below-average ability to finish on catch opportunities through contact.

Devontez Walker compared to other 2024 prospects: 

Devontez Walker - North Carolina Tar Heels/Kent State Golden Flashes - 6’2 ½ - 200 lbs 

Kent State 2021-2022

  • 20 Games 
  • 63 Receptions 
  • 1,045 Receiving Yards (16.6 Yards Per Receptions) 
  • 12 Touchdowns 

UNC Tar Heels 2023

  • 8 Games 
  • 41 Receptions 
  • 699 Receiving Yards (17.0 Yards Per Reception) 
  • 7 Touchdowns

Marvin Harrison Jr - Ohio State Buckeyes - 6’3 - 205 lbs

  • 38 Games 
  • 155 Receptions 
  • 2,613 Receiving Yards (16.9 Yards Per Reception)
  • 31 Touchdowns

Malik Nabers - Louisiana State Tigers - 6’0 - 200 lbs

  • 38 Games 
  • 189 Receptions 
  • 3,003 Receiving Yards (15.9 Yards Per Reception)  
  • 21 Touchdowns 

Rome Odunze - Washington Huskies - 6’3 - 215 lbs 

  • 40 Games 
  • 214 Receptions 
  • 3,272 Receiving Yards (15.3 Yards Per Reception)  
  • 24 Touchdowns 

While Walker’s inconsistent route running and ability to finish through contact have been noted as places of concern for scouts, his speed and hands make him a deep-threat receiver perfect for the Browns offense

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