NFL Draft Grades, Ravens 2015: Breshad Perriman


Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Breshad Perriman (Central Florida) poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number twenty-six overall pick to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens pick of Central Florida wide receiver Breshad Perriman has already set the interwebs on fire, with a lot of “contrasting” opinions.  I’ve heard him called “Torrey Smith 2.0” as a guy who only runs two routes but does so very quickly.  Some have called him a first round reach as a guy who might have been available mid-second round.

But the controversy is to be expected.  Perriman is legitimately a question mark, no doubt about it.  He has blazing speed (4.26 40), is a big time playmaker (19.5 yards per reception in his 3 year college career), and has Julio Jones-esque size and traits.  But he also lacks the aforementioned route running chops and he drops far too many passes (8 of 54 catchable balls in 2014).

Having said that, Breshad Perriman doesn’t shoulder all the blame.  He was the victim of some horrible quarterbacking at UCF, where he was often forced to contort his body in some abnormal ways to try and catch errant passes.  And if you look at it on the bright side, the Ravens are getting a bigger, faster version of Torrey Smith with a 4 year, $8.5 million dollar contract.  Smith nabbed 5 years and $40 mil with the 49ers.

Plus, we already know what Smith’s ceiling is.  We don’t know what Perriman’s will be.  Will he be the next Julio Jones, or will he be Steven Hill?  The Ravens obviously think the finished product will more closely resemble the former.  John Harbaugh admitted Thursday night that the team had Perriman ranked 14th on their big board.

The Ravens picked Perriman over Phillip Dorsett and Jaelen Strong because they think he has more upside, plain and simple.  And they very well may be right.  I personally love his potential, and he doesn’t come with the baggage that Dorial Green-Beckham would have brought.  I just don’t think he will show up in 2015 and suddenly be a complete receiver.

Expect Perriman to play the Torrey Smith role this season as he works to improve his route running and develop more consistent hands.  The good news is, he has Steve Smith and Marc Trestman to learn from, which is a big advantage.  And that makes me a lot more optimistic than certain media outlets, some of which are giving this pick a “D.”

Why the criticism?  The Ravens didn’t even have another player on their board at the time that they rated as a first round pick.  If Perriman wasn’t there, they were going to trade back (or try to).  I commend them for sticking to their guns and not reaching, which certain other teams do all the time.

Grade: B

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