I got to speak to the guys at Underdog Dynasty about the Ravens first round pick, Breshad Perriman. With the Ravens selecting him at 26th overall, we need to know a little more about the player from people that watched him every week.
Q1: The biggest knock on Perriman seems to be the drops. Yet, we've seen reports that they just look like concentration errors more so than bad hands. Is that accurate to say and will it be fixed at the NFL level?
A: Everybody likes to talk about his drop rate, but they keep singling out his 2014 numbers (only caught 46 of 54 catchable balls). Anybody know what one thing changed between 2013 and 2014? I don't need to explain to you, the NFL fan, that there is a substantial difference between "senior quarterback Blake Bortles who was the #3 overall pick last year" and "usually sophomore Justin Holman but not always" in terms of who is getting your targets to you. Holman was the classic "he'll be a great quarterback eventually if he can just do the things he is great at every single time rather than just occasionally." When you have nothing to base your "oh he dropped a lot of passes" complaint on except for one year of play with a dumpster fire at quarterback, I'm not listening.
Q2: Perriman comes from a football family. We've covered that his father was a 10 year veteran wide receiver and should be able to help his son out. Are there any instances where his father helped out when Perriman was in College?
A: I don't know of any instances personally, other than the obvious point that I think we know who his primary teacher and source of inspiration has been for a long time.
Q3: Obviously Perriman has elite speed (having run a 4.26 40-yard dash),but that doesnt always translate to the same level of speed in pads. Is he blowing away defenders or can he still be caught from behind?
A: The comparisons to Julio Jones are not wrong - it is infrequent to see a guy with his speed and vertical agility. It's hard to really assess this in game terms, because the AAC isn't exactly flush with shutdown DBs, but if you can I would go back and check out the film against UConn (Byron Jones) and perhaps against Temple, as by that point Justin Holman was a little more settled and Perriman was playing some of the better single coverage he faced all season.
Q4: The Ravens are a run first type of team and showed why last season. Part of what Baltimore asks of it's wide receivers is to block during running plays. Perriman clearly has a big body on him, but how good does he really do in the run game and how enthusiastically does he hit defenders when asked?
A: Well, I'm not about to say that his offensive M.O. is "fuck it, I ain't blocking." He's got the skills and the desire to be a willing and able run game asset, but he's not exactly the Hines Ward type who will smoke you and laugh about it.
Q5: What is Perriman's ceiling based on what you've seen from him at UCF?
A: I realistically think that he is quite the perfect replacement for Torrey Smith - he has nearly the exact same skillset, and he's likely a less polished pass-catcher but better otherwise at this point in his career compared to Smith. I don't know if he'll ever be a truly elite option, but I think "1995 Brett Perriman" is probably his floor.
Q6: In your opinion, was Perriman a reach at the 26th overall pick? Explain with either answer please.
A: I think that was right about where he should go. He's a legitimate deep threat, those don't grow on trees, and the Ravens needed it after Smith's departure. I think part of why he went where he did and not slightly later was a good match of team and player, but no I don't think the pick was a reach for the Ravens.