The Baltimore Ravens’ decision to pass on drafting a receiver and go all defense and offensive line showed the amount of faith they’ve placed in Breshad Perriman. His performance next season will determine if Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome got it right or made a huge mistake.
Last year could easily be counted as Perriman’s rookie season seeing as he missed all of 2015 with a knee injury. Despite seeing limited field time, Perriman still turned in a fairly solid year last season with 33 receptions for 499 yards and 3 touchdowns. Those number will have to be much better next season if the Ravens hope to continue to have success throwing the football.
They benefited last season from the surprising resurgence of former Pro Bowl wideout Mike Wallace. The team also had Steve Smith Sr. and Kamar Aiken leading the charge in the receiving corps. Wallace will still be on the 2017 roster as most likely the team’s No. 1 receiver, but Smith is off enjoying retirement life and Aiken will be catching passes from Andrew Luck on the Indianapolis Colts next season.
That leaves a huge void for Perriman to help fill. Now that he’s healthy, he’ll finally get the opportunity to show the world why he was deserving of a first-round pick two years ago.
“I can’t wait. I’ve been waiting for this moment all along,” Perriman said, per the Ravens’ official team website. “I’m expecting a huge year from me, to be honest with you. …I’m not as tense. I’m going out there and playing free, playing faster. And catching wise, I feel like my hand-eye coordination has gotten incredibly better. I know how much potential I have. I’m just ready to put it all together. It is going to come together.”
Perriman is definitely in a better position for things to come together.
He has already been hard at work in the offseason catching passes from quarterback Joe Flacco, which is something he missed last year due to a family emergency with father, who suffered a massive stroke. Flacco will need all of the help he can get to carry the Ravens back to relevancy. The former perennial playoff contender hasn’t played a postseason game in three years.
“We’ve been working every day running routes,” said Perriman. “I feel like it’s been paying off and we’re getting on the same page.”
With an entire season under Perriman’s belt, his production should skyrocket for a Ravens team that has fallen in love with passing the football.
It has to if the team hopes to play football in January.