Will Breshad Perriman Become a Superior Receiver to Torrey Smith?


Oct 18, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; UCF Knights wide receiver Breshad Perriman (11) runs into the end zone for a 45-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter as the UCF Knights beat the Tulane Green Wave 20-13 at Bright House Networks Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

This is the time of year when critics emerge.  People everywhere scrutinize every move NFL teams make in the offseason, gauging whether it will help them or hurt them.  What some call a great move, others call a bad one.  Some even go to extremes, designating a particular draft pick as a franchise savior, or even a scourge that will set back the team for years.

The truth generally lies somewhere in the middle.  Despite the tremendous amount of analysis teams do on draft eligible players, some are going to fail while others will outplay their expectations.  Others might even become exactly what we thought they would become.  Like many things in life, this is an exercise in risk reduction.

Breshad Perriman is a perfect example of a player whose career could go in many directions.  He seemingly came out of nowhere, rocketing up draft boards after an incredible pro day performance.  Perriman’s speed would be extremely impressive if he was sub-six feet tall and under 200 pounds, but it’s downright amazing for a guy who is 6’2″ and 212 pounds.

That lethal combination is what made Perriman a big play waiting to happen at Central Florida.  He averaged a ridiculous 20.9 yards per catch in 2014 and 20.8 in 2013.  His quick breaks, acceleration, and separation skills are going to give NFL cornerbacks fits.  His catch radius, timing, ball tracking, and body control are going to make Joe Flacco look even better.

If he can consistently catch the ball, of course.  The biggest knock on Breshad Perriman, outside of his limited route tree, are his inconsistent hands.  Perriman dropped 8 of 54 catchable balls in 2014, but he is well aware of it and seems determined to improve.

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"“It’s something I have a chip on my shoulder about,”Perriman told The Baltimore Sun. “At the end of the day, I know what I have to do and I know that I can catch. So, lack of concentration some mental drops in this past season — that’s something I’ve been working on tremendously. I know they see that as a weakness, but I will use that as a motivation.”"

Those knocks, of course, are the same ones that plagued Torrey Smith throughout his tenure with the Ravens.  Which is why they refused to pay him like a number one receiver, instead letting Smith leave for greener (literally) pastures in San Francisco.  What they got was a cheaper, bigger, and faster alternative in Perriman.

But will Breshad Perriman overcome his deficits and become the complete receiver Joe Flacco has never had?  I, for one, think he has a great shot at doing so.  His physical traits and combination of size, speed, and suddenness are those that you find only in the top tier of NFL wide receivers.  He trumps Smith as a prospect by more than country mile.

Plus, while Torrey is a great guy, he at times looked uninterested on the field.  A neutral personality who played with little fire, Smith essentially gave up on some routes last season.  He seemed to know that his time in Baltimore was over, and wasn’t motivated to earn a new contract.  Smith knew that a team somewhere was going to pay him, and that’s exactly what happened.

It’s far to early to predict any draft picks’ career with accuracy, but Breshad Perriman earned his Julio Jones comparisons after a dominant college career.  Perriman has absolutely everything a receiver needs to succeed at the NFL level, and he is already not only aware of his opportunities, but he seems motivated to fix them.  Which is sadly something that Torrey Smith never did.

Next: One on One With Breshad Perriman

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