When Breshad Perriman was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, I was filled with excitement. After all, this seemed like the fit I had been waiting for after
months hours of waiting for an NFL team to select him. Then I saw this tweet from our fearless leader:
GFL figuring Perriman out. pic.twitter.com/cjeuI6MQac
— Fantasy Douche (@FantasyDouche) May 1, 2015
Suddenly, I wasn’t sure what to think about the UCF receiver. I’m still not 100 percent sure that I know what Perriman is, or will become, in the NFL. What I do know is that you should draft him.
Let’s take a closer look at the table that Fantasy Douche posted, courtesy of the Box Score Scout App:
This list of comparables is an absolute hodgepodge. We see stud receivers like Andre Johnson, Roddy White, and Odell Beckham, but also busts like Troy Williamson and Stephen Hill. And just looking at the list as a whole, there doesn’t appear to be a very good match for his athleticism and production. It is easy to see that the data paints a very unclear picture of Perriman’s ability. However I still think you should draft him, and perhaps highly, this summer. Why is that?
I’ll start with a good reason to believe in Perriman as a prospect, and that is his age. He is incredibly young, with a final college season age of 21.3, good enough to be the eighth youngest receiver in this year’s draft. In that context, his production at Central Florida looks a lot better.
I took this graph from Jon Moore’s Visualizing the Careers of 2015 NFL Draft Receivers. As you can see, while a 34.1 percent market share of yards isn’t otherworldly in a vacuum, it is enough, based on his age, to crack the trend line for future 150+ point fantasy receivers.
It is also fairly incredible to see how far the receiving prospect has risen. After being in Jon’s fifth tier of receivers in February, Perriman has since killed his pro day, scored highly in Jon’s Phenom Index, and checked in as the number four receiver in the Rotoviz Scouting Index. He was also the number six receiver in our Pre-Draft Composite Rankings (in which Jon ranked him 7th). Already we can see that Perriman is a player that has some potential before even considering his landing spot.
The best reason to draft Perriman is the opportunity he should receive in Baltimore. Kevin Cole’s Opportunity Scores paint a very positive picture for him.
That’s right, Perriman is going to the team with the top score on the graph, and by a fair margin. I’m sure that you can already guess that the depth chart for the Ravens isn’t very strong, but that would be a huge understatement. The team currently has Steve Smith and Marlon Brown listed as the top two wide receivers, with Michael Campanaro and Kamar Aiken right behind them. The team also lost Owen Daniels in free agency, leaving Crockett Gillmore as the tight end in Baltimore for the time being. Smith was clearly the best of the group that’s there, but his time could be coming to an end. Check out these splits from the Game Splits App:
The 14-year veteran had an amazing first six games followed by 10 games that make him barely rosterable. I’m not going to say that Smith is completely finished, but the light at the end of the tunnel is well within sight. There is a very real chance that Perriman will quickly become Joe Flacco’s primary option.
The Trestman Effect
Last year under Gary Kubiak, the Ravens passed the ball 555 times, good for 55 percent of the team’s plays. Over the past two seasons in Chicago, Marc Trestman’s Bears passed the ball 609 (63 percent) and 579 (59 percent) times, respectively. I’m sure that some of that is relative, and the fact that the Ravens have a better defense than Chicago to go along with worse receiving options probably keeps the splits from changing too much, but an increase in attempts is certainly a reasonable expectation. This further magnifies the potential opportunity Perriman could garner.
In fact, even if Perriman can’t take the top receiver job away from Steve Smith, he should still receive plenty of opportunity with Trestman at the helm. Over the last two seasons, the per-game target splits were very close between Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery (9.31 to 9.14) and the pair combined for over 47 percent of the Bears total targets.
There is a lot up in the air with regards to Breshad Perriman’s talent and the Box Score Scout App painted a very cloudy picture. However, when we look at his age, the opportunity he should receive in Baltimore, and the impending impact of Marc Trestman as the offensive coordinator, he is looking like a very appealing draft candidate for 2015. We will see where his re-draft ADP ends up, but I am already thinking about Perriman as a player to target in both dynasty and re-draft formats.