Can Breshad Perriman develop into a Demaryius Thomas type NFL receiver?
The Ravens certainly hope so. Before the draft, some scouts were comparing Perriman to Thomas, who signed a five-year, $70 million contract with the Broncos on Wednesday. Thomas has caught at least 92 passes for more than 1,400 yards the past three seasons.
Before the draft, veteran NFL films analyst Greg Cosell made comparisons between Thomas and Perriman, and argued that Perriman was on the same tier as fellow rookies Amari Cooper (Raiders) and Kevin White (Bears), ranking those three as the top three receivers in the 2015 class.
Comparisons are one thing. Production is another. But there are similarities between Perriman and Thomas. Perriman is a big body (6-foot-2 212 pounds) with sprinter’s speed, just like Thomas. And both were taken around the same point in the draft. The Broncos took Thomas with the 22nd pick in 2010, while the Ravens took Perriman with the 26th pick this year.
The biggest question with Perriman is whether he will catch the ball consistently. Drops plagued Perriman at times during his collegiate career at UCF, something to keep an eye on during training camp whenever Joe Flacco targets Perriman.
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Those drops may have cost Perriman on draft night. He was the fifth wide receiver selected, going after Cooper went No. 4 to the Raiders, White went No. 7 to the Bears, DeVante Parker went No. 14 to the Dolphins, and Nelson Agholor went No. 20 to the Eagles.
Will Perriman prove he should have gone higher? Time will tell. But the Ravens will be more than satisfied if Perriman rises to the class of Thomas.