As with every draft pick, Breshad Perriman is feeling both the love and the hate from Ravens' fans. Which is perfectly natural with a late first round pick. Fans want an immediate contributor that will be great and at the end of the first round, prospects start to have bigger and bigger issues that make you question how great they can be.
Perriman is no different from the other late first round selections in that regard. Fans can knock his hands or lack of route running ability, which is fair to do. However, we'll take a look at why Perriman is a good pick below.
Speed kills in the NFL and Perriman has it. Torrey Smith came into the draft with a 4.36 40-yard dash time. Perriman's is 4.27 seconds. Other players that Ravens fans might remember are Jacoby Jones (4.5 seconds) and Mike Wallace (4.33 seconds). Needless to say that Perriman is the fastest guy the Ravens have likely seen. That speed will allow him to get above corners and turn every play into a foot race, that Perriman should win.
Not only does that top end speed mean that Perriman will be Baltimore's immediate deep threat, it also helps take the top off a defense. What that means is that the threat of Perriman going deep will cause defenses to pay attention to him. That attention could come as extra cushion on the line of scrimage, allowing for shallow routes. Or it could come as a safety rolling to Perriman's side, opening up holes in zone coverage for the Ravens' underneath receivers like Steve Smith, Kamar Aiken and Marlon Brown.
Perriman comes from a football family. His father was a 10 year veteran wide receiver in the league and will be following his son's career, giving him pointers. While the Ravens already have a coaching staff in place and veteran Steve Smith to help teach the young receiver, having a father that played ball for so long only assists in Perriman's ability to develop.
Yeah, Perriman has been knocked for his hands which is true. However, when you compare him to what the Ravens lost in Torrey Smith, it becomes a little more intriguing.
Ravens wanted a deep threat at receiver. Torrey Smith dropped 5 of 13 deep passes in 2014, Perriman dropped 1 of 14 at UCF— Gordon McGuinness (@PFF_Gordon) May 1, 2015
While drops are always a bad thing, 1/14 isn't too bad. Ozzie Newsome is also confident that Perriman's drops were more of a lack of concentration, partly because they wore off as the season wore on.
Again, comparing Perriman to Smith is a natural thing due to Perriman being the replacement for Torrey. However, the rookie comes in at a 2 inches taller than Smith with a bigger wingspan. That big body will be able to take hits across the middle and stand up to going over defensive backs in jump ball situations.
Lastly, the Ravens have a pretty famous 80/20 rule. If they can get 80% of the production for 20% of the price, they'll make the deal. Even if Perriman only turns out to be a Torrey Smith clone, Smith recently signed a contract worth $8 million per year. Perriman's rookie deal will be under $2 million per year. The Ravens will take the savings for the production all day long.