After watching Torrey Smith depart Baltimore for a lucrative contract with the San Francisco 49ers, and with Jacoby Jones being released to save cap space, the Ravens were in need for a replacement that could help immediately. The Ravens found that replacement Thursday night.
In the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Ravens took a promising wide receiver out of Central Florida by the name of Breshad Perriman. Perriman, born and raised in Lithonia, Georgia, has been following in his father’s footsteps, who also played in the NFL for parts of ten seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, and Miami Dolphins. This promising youngster has always been praised for his speed and athletic ability, something that the Ravens are in need of after letting their two fast receivers depart this offseason.
In high school, Perriman participated in both football and track and field. As a track and field athlete, he went around the United States competing in Junior Olympic events and USA track and field events, to which many events he was highly successful. Even though he was very successful with track and field however, he decided to focus on football as he was regarded as the top receiver in his county. After combining for 40 catches for 813 yards and nine touchdowns in his junior and senior years in high school, he was recruited to play football at UCF.
In college, Perriman quickly became known for his speed and playmaking abilities. Starting right out of the gate for UCF in his freshman season, he managed to catch 26 passes for 388 yards and three touchdowns. Building on his good start, he combined for another 89 catches for 1,855 yards and 13 touchdowns in his sophomore and junior seasons. Averaging nearly 21 yards per catch (YPC) in his final two seasons, Perriman placed sixth in YPC among all Division I wide receivers. After his junior season at UCF, he declared himself eligible for the 2015 NFL draft.
At UCF’s pro day on March 25, Perriman standing at 6 foot 2 and 220 pounds ran a 4.24 in the 40 yard dash. Comparing that time to all the athletes at the NFL scouting combine, he finished ahead of all other draft hopefuls by at least .05 of a second. His speed and height combo is something all NFL teams and coaches look for in a receiver. Perriman draws comparisons to receiver Josh Gordon based on his ability to make plays down the field and is also called a taller and faster Torrey Smith. These comparisons produce a lot of hype, hype in which the Ravens hope he can live up too.
- Play Making Ability
The two main weaknesses in Perriman’s game are his dropped passes and the fact that he does not run his routes extremely well. Perriman often resorts to double catching which has caused him to drop passes that otherwise should have been caught. He also can be considered slow when reacting to the passes being thrown at him, where he is often one step behind the ball. When in his routes, he depends on his speed and athleticism to get him where he needs to be over any type of precision. This works at the collegiate level, but normally doesn’t translate to the NFL with any success. He is also known to sit and wait on throws rather than work his way back to the ball. These weaknesses are things that did not scare the Ravens away, as they believe these things are a matter of concentration, something the Ravens say they will work with him on in order to correct.
With the current receivers on the Ravens roster comprised of mostly possession based slower receivers, the Ravens are hoping Perriman replaces the speed threat on the outside vacated by Smith this offseason. While the potential is there, it will be fun to see how he progresses over his first few seasons.