Aug 29, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver and first round draft pick Breshad Perriman (18) prior to the game against the Washington Redskins at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
When the Baltimore Ravens drafted Breshad Perriman with their first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, most Ravens fans weren’t necessarily expecting him to be the answer for Baltimore’s wide receiver corps this season. That’s not to say that the Ravens didn’t expect him to see some time on the field this year and contribute. After all, he was their first pick in the draft.
However, many fans and even critics were more so looking to guys like Steve Smith Sr., Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown, and maybe even a trade to acquire an already established and seasoned receiver to be Baltimore’s focal point at wide receiver.
Well, how ironic is it that just two weeks into the regular season, Perriman seems like the only upside to a struggling wide receiver unit?
Obviously, this has a lot to do with the lack of production we’ve seen from Aiken and Brown, not to mention the way Steve Smith has been looking. Aiken was nonexistent Week 1 and in Sunday’s game in Oakland, he wasn’t that much better, recording five receptions for 89 yards per espn.com.
Brown hasn’t been much help either as he’s only recorded four catches for 37 yards in Baltimore’s first two games. This brings us to Smith, who after a disappointing performance in Denver, turned things around a bit in Oakland, bringing in 10 receptions for 150 yards, one that was a 37-yard gain, according to espn.com.
Sep 20, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Baltimore Ravens receiver Marlon Brown (14) is defended by Oakland Raiders cornerback Neiko Thorpe (31) at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Ravens 37-33. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Still, that hasn’t been enough to get the job done and the fact of the matter is Smith will need help this season if the Ravens want any chance of overcoming this early adversity and finishing the season strong. That’s something that the jury is still out on.
While it’s still a mystery as to what kind of impact Perriman will have on the offense, the stat lines just mentioned, echo the fact that the receiver unit is in desperate need of assistance. Perriman could be that guy when he returns and he really has no other choice but to bring some production because if he doesn’t, the Ravens can start looking elsewhere for next year.
That might be the way to go, considering Steve Smith will no longer be in the fold next season and the Ravens will have no veteran talent at wide receiver, something that they’ve always had dating all the way back to the start of the John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco era.
Perriman is showing signs of a possible return in the coming days. According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Perriman was spotted running routes on the sidelines before Sunday’s game in Oakland.
The Ravens would have used Injured Reserve-Designated to Return on Perriman if they expected him to be out beyond the midway point of the season, but they used it on defensive end Brent Urban instead per Hensley.
That’s a sign that the Ravens expect Perriman to be back on the field soon and that’s what their receiver unit needs now more than ever, at least until Perriman shows us otherwise. But, as of now, what we do know about Perriman is that he’s a speedy receiver with strength and those are qualities that if they can’t necessarily lead to Torrey Smith-type numbers, they could at least draw some attention away from Smith Sr., freeing him up to get back to his veteran ways.
Jul 30, 2015; Owings Mills, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws to wide receiver Breshad Perriman (18) during day one of training camp at Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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