Ravens Bold Predictions: Breshad Perriman Will Shine in 2015


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

In the dark ages of the NFL (pre-2014), wide receivers simply couldn’t be counted on to make a first year impact of much significance.  And they most certainly weren’t going to come in and ascend to elite status in their rookie year.  There are a few exceptions, but we used to subscribe to the “third year breakout” rule when it came to pass catchers.

The reasons are obvious.  Coming from the college ranks to the professional ones, there is often a big learning curve for offensive players.  Many were never counted on to run any sort of routes in college, or bother with learning the fine art of timing.  Very few had to face the big, physically freakish cornerbacks and safeties that roam the defensive backfields of the NFL.

Then, 2014 happened.  Odell Beckham turned the league on it’s head and shocked the world.  Mike Evans immediately reigned terror on opposing secondaries.  Kelvin Benjamin was thrust into a big role and fared well.  Sammy Watkins made an impact despite terrible quarterback play and injuries.  Jarvis Landry and Jordan Matthews made meaningful contributions as well.

Last year may go down as the best rookie wide receiver class in the history of the NFL, but can we expect that trend to continue this year?  Many consider the 2015 class to be almost as good, and they have a legitimate shot at making a similar impact.  But while some wind up in precarious situations with questionable quarterbacks, Breshad Perriman is walking into a golden opportunity.

A big bodied receiver with ridiculous speed, Perriman has future number one written all over him.  He’s also a perfect match for Joe Flacco’s big arm and deep ball accuracy.  Concerns about his shaky hands have proven to be unwarranted so far as he has consistently caught the ball in OTAs, leaving only route running as a big question mark.

But how many routes does Perriman have to learn how to run before he becomes a 1,000 yard receiver? Ask Kelvin Benjamin, and you’ll find out – not too many.  Perriman has the size and speed to outrun corners and snag contested passes out of the air.  He is going to be a big play threat every time the ball comes his way.

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Plus, we all know that Marc Trestman knows how to use big receivers.  He proved that by making Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jefferey unstoppable in Chicago, despite the Bear’s many documented woes and offensive line deficiencies.  With Steve Smith lining up beside him, Justin Forsett behind him, and an offensive line filled with Pro Bowlers, how can he not succeed?

So while the Ravens play coy and trot out Kamar Aiken as a starter at OTAs, I’m not going to leave the baby gloves on my personal expectations for Breshad Perriman in 2015.  I expect the rookie to take the lid off opposing defenses this coming season, giving the Ravens a threat at wide receiver they have never had over their 20 year existence.

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