Oh, how times have changed. Three years ago around this time, the Baltimore Ravens handed in the draft card to make UCF wide receiver Breshad Perriman the future at a position they had consistent issues with.
Torrey Smith had left in free agency, Steve Smith was getting older, and the Ravens didn’t make any moves in free agency to bolster the position. Everything had lined up perfectly for Perriman to take advantage of the opportunity to become their future number one wideout, and never look back.
Unfortunately, a nebulous knee injury suffered the summer of 2015 kept him off of the field for the entirety in his rookie season. The year following, another knee injury threatened his season and kept him off of the field for most of training camp, though he still managed to have a somewhat promising season as a number three receiver.
Heading into 2017, all that was expected of him was to be a productive third option at the position behind Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace. The exact opposite happened. Bad routes combined with mind-blowing and sometimes catastrophic drops saw him eventually get phased out of the offense towards the end of the season.
Perriman wasn’t the only disappointment at the position, and as a result, Ozzie Newsome pledged to completely revamp the group in the coming offseason. A few months after that declaration, the depth chart reads Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead as the starters.
During the 2018 NFL draft, the Ravens added Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley to their receiver room. The decision to move Perriman out of the starting lineup last season was in favor of Chris Moore; he, along with all the new names at the position are virtual locks to make this team.
That leaves probably one or two spots open for Perriman to compete for, depending on how many receivers the Ravens choose to keep on the final roster in 2018. It’s not at all ideal for a player who looked completely lost on the field in 2017.
It would be a sad story for Perriman’s run in Baltimore to end like this, but it’s nice to see the front office taking the right approach. Bring in the most competition possible and make Perriman earn every opportunity given to him.
As much as all of us want Perriman to work out, the organization shouldn’t stick to a mistake just because they invested a lot into making it. The Ravens certainly seem to understand that based on their acquisitions this offseason.