Breshad Perriman is on the cusp of becoming the latest Baltimore Ravens’ draft bust and potentially the biggest bust in team history. The Ravens are continuing their streak on not developing the wide receivers they drafted, which is a factor for the consistently average offense they produce.
The Ravens have drafted three wide receivers in the first round in team history: Travis Taylor (2000), Mark Clayton (2005), and Breshad Perriman (2015). Both Taylor and Clayton only played with the Ravens for five seasons, catching only 15 and 12 touchdowns respectively. Neither receiver passed the 1000 yard mark in their career, with their highest being 869 for Taylor and 939 for Clayton.
This places Perriman and the Ravens in all too familiar territory. Will they let Perriman walk after his contract is up, or do they Ravens try to dump him to another team in a trade? The Ravens gambled on a fast 40 yard dash time, while dismissing the consistent dropped balls in college and failed… miserably. That is something completely unusual under GM Ozzie Newsome. So far in his career, Perriman only has 37 receptions for 525 yards and three touchdowns.
The depressing part about all this is the receivers the Ravens passed on while taking Perriman. In order of being drafted, the Ravens passed on Devin Funchess, Tyler Lockett, Ty Montgomery, Stefon Diggs, and J.J. Nelson. Funchess is putting on a clinic as the current top receiver in Carolina, Diggs has been in competition for the most receiving yards so far this season in Minnesota, Montgomery did move over to running back, but he is making plays in Green Bay, and Nelson has been producing consistently as a compliment to Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona.
The lack of developing young receivers has led the Ravens to look for veteran wide outs in free agency/trades. Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith Sr., Mike Wallace, and Jeremy Maclin all came to Baltimore at age 29 or older. The Ravens also were in the midst of receiving Terrell Owens from San Francisco in 2004, but Owens’ agent messed around with his contract to have Owens get a lucrative deal sooner.
Unless the Ravens can find and develop a good young receiver, they will be stuck with an average offense like they have been since 1996. Yes the veterans brought in have produced heavily, but it’s better to have that production for 10+ years from someone you drafted than around five to six from a guy you picked up in free agency. Hopefully Perriman can produce somewhat this season and if he’s still around, produce next season. But the Ravens need to spend a higher round draft pick on a receiver and potentially sign one of the better free agent receivers, so they can avoid another abysmal showing like they had this past Sunday.