Ravens coach John Harbaugh said on Tuesday that he still envisions a high ceiling for second-year receiver Breshad Perriman, whose career has yet to live up to his first-round draft status.
Perriman, whose entire rookie season was lost to injury, played in 16 games this season and finished with 33 catches for 499 yards and three touchdowns. Perriman showed flashes of his speed, turning a short catch into a 53-yard touchdown against the Dolphins.
But Perriman's season was also characterized by dropped passes, route-running issues and timing problems with quarterback Joe Flacco. And neither offensive coordinator in 2016 — the fired Marc Trestman and then Marty Mornhinweg — did much to stretch the field with Perriman, rarely sending the speedster deep on straight fly patterns, which was considered a key part of his skill set.
With the retirement of Steve Smith Sr., the Ravens will need more than just two catches and about 31 yards a game -- roughly his 2016 averages -- from their 2015 first-round draft pick.
Still, the Ravens have high hopes for Perriman.
When asked at his season-ending news conference whether Perriman could become a No. 1 receiver, Harbaugh said, "I sure hope that Breshad Perriman becomes a true No. 1," noting that there are maybe "10 at the most" in the league.
"To me, there are signs that is possible," Harbaugh said. "But he has a ways to go. He has a lot of work to do to get it done. You see the radius and you see the speed, and I think you see that here is a guy who has a chance.
"Now, he has to refine his route-running, he has to refine his hands, his catching, and just become an all-around really good receiver. This is his first year of practicing. He did not even have training camp. To me, there is a lot of upside there.”
Perriman acknowledged as he cleaned out his locker on Monday that he needs to improve his route-running and his chemistry with Flacco.
He said he hopes to do some offseason work with Flacco and also said he will benefit from being fully healthy for an NFL offseason for the first time.
"I think it will be a huge advantage for me," Perriman said. "It is not rehabbing, it is going straight to work, and just working on things I need to get better at. I am looking forward to it.”
RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0