OWINGS MILLS – The Ravens drafted Breshad Perriman to catch footballs, not drop them.
Watching Perriman drop a few passes he should have caught during Tuesday’s mandatory minicamp practice was not the look the Ravens wanted from their first-round pick. Perriman’s tendency to drop passes was the biggest knock on him entering the draft. If he licks that problem, Perriman has the tools to have a solid rookie season at wide receiver. He has the speed, the size, and the strength to get open against NFL cornerbacks, and continued to show that on Tuesday. He finished the practice strong by making some solid catches and continuing to get open. Then after practice, Perriman answered questions about the drops directly without making alibis, or minimize their importance. Those were positive signs.
“Just really paying attention, getting too tired and really not focusing,” Perriman said when asked about the drops. “I don’t really make excuses for it. They should have been caught, but that’s something that won’t happen too often.”
Eyes will continue to focus on Perriman, because expectations for him are high, and his deep threat ability is an element the Ravens need in their offense. Instead of reacting to how Perriman looks on a given day, Ravens coach John Harbaugh is looking at the big picture and likes what he sees.
“It’s about learning the playbook, it’s about learning how to get in a good stance, getting a good takeoff, running a good route, and then you try to put it all together and make a play,” Harbaugh said. “The minicamp is faster than the OTA’s, just like training camp will be faster than minicamp, just like preseason games, regular season games, playoff games, etc. Breshad is doing a really good job and working to put it all together, and that’s the challenge for every rookie, but he has all the talent it the world. He’s very determined, he’s very talented, and he’s going to do really well.”
Perriman is not shying away from those expectations. He wants his catches to increase, and his drops eliminated.
“I feel like I’m doing good,” Perriman said. “I feel like I’ve got a lot of work to do, though…I’m not nearly satisfied with how I’m playing. I feel like I’m doing a good job, but at the same time I’m striving for more.”