It is time for Breshad Perriman to live up to his first-round selection. The Baltimore Ravens need a playmaker on offense.
The Ravens franchise has been searching for a playmaking wide receiver of their own since moving to Baltimore. They have had success bringing in outsiders – Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin and Steve Smith, to name a few – but they have failed to develop one of their own.
Mike Wallace is another receiver from a different team that has come in and made an impact. He leads the team in targets, receiving yards and touchdowns, and has been much better than many expected after some down seasons with the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings.
Smith is a gamer that always finds a way to make plays. He is still fighting off bigger defenders even at the end of his Hall of Fame career. Thursday night’s win over the Cleveland Browns was no exception as he found the end zone for the 78th time.
The problem for the Ravens is that Smith will retire once the season ends. The team was able to lure him back for one more year after an Achilles injury, but the end is in sight. Someone will need to step up and take his role next season.
Last year’s first-round pick Breshad Perriman has been no exception in the team’s search to develop their own receiver. The former Central Florida product missed all of last season with a knee injury and suffered another early in training camp this season. But as the team enters the second half of the 2016 season, it is time for him to step up.
The Ravens obviously had high hopes for Perriman by making him the 26th pick in last year’s draft. At times, he has looked like he could be a stud. Other times, he has shown why many felt he was a boom-or-bust player.
He has all the physical attributes that should make him a star, but the knock on Perriman has been his hands. We have seen that a few times this season as he has failed to make plays when called upon. What we cannot deny is that he is a deep threat that could lead the team for years to come.
Perriman is second on the team at 14 yards per catch. He hauled in his first touchdown of his young career last week against the Browns, a 27-yard reception in which he made a great adjustment on the ball. That is the type of effort the Ravens will need from him the rest of the season and beyond.
Some will say that the touchdown came against a winless Browns team. That is the confidence builder that Perriman needs. The schedule gets much tougher the rest of the way and Baltimore needs someone outside of Wallace and Smith to be a threat. The Ravens and their fans knew it would likely be in the second half of the season that Perriman would begin to make his impact.
The Ravens are in sole possession of first place in the AFC North and look to have found some life in Perriman and rookie running back Kenneth Dixon. Now it’s time to see them make plays on a consistent basis.