Breshad Perriman’s Value is at a Tipping Point

Last year I remember watching with mild disgust as Kelvin Benjamin’s ADP went from WR49 or so before training camps, to WR32 by about September 1. I was regularly taking him in the sixth round of drafts by the end of draft season just to make sure I didn’t miss out on him, but I would have loved to be able to wait until the eighth or ninth rounds. He provided a decent return even though it could have been better with just a few bounces of the ball going in his direction.

While Breshad Perriman has the potential to be 2015’s Kelvin Benjamin, there are already emerging signs that things could be different for Perriman. To start with it’s June 25 and he’s already WR36 in ADP. Benjamin’s ADP largely stayed in the WR40s until positive training camp buzz emerged. But the other thing is that while Perriman has a great chance to compete in Baltimore, he also isn’t the starter yet either. Reports out of minicamp have said that Perriman will be given every chance to start, but also that Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken, and maybe even others could compete for that job. When you add in the fact that Perriman has already had some drop issues in minicamps, the picture is certainly muddied.

The case for Perriman is super simple and it’s that he’s a physical freak with great draft pedigree on a team that has a bunch of missing targets. That’s it. It’s a sentence-long case.

The case against Perriman is that he might not start, and then if he does start maybe he has the same growing pains that rookies often have.

Like Tevin Coleman, our staff projections like Perriman quite a bit this year, and like Coleman it’s because we’re making an assumption. We’re projecting him to start and also garner the WR1 targets. It’s true that Steve Smith is old, but all of the reports out of Baltimore have been that Smith will be the WR1.

It’s true that if Perriman gets the WR1 targets in that offense he would be incredibly valuable at WR36 ADP or maybe even higher. But as of today I think the correct move is probably to start mixing in some other values in that range if you’ve been targeting Perriman a lot. I say that simply because his cost has increased at the same time that it also looks like the depth chart is getting muddier. If during the summer he had taken the top spot in the Baltimore receiving corps then he wouldn’t be as risky as he is now.

I tend not to trust myself very much to make judgments that conflict with reports that come out of minicamps. I realize that a lot of the buzz is straight noise, but I also have a tough time going “Oh, the coaches are only going negative here to motivate him.” None of that is to say that reports on Perriman have been overly negative. I’m just saying that I’ll have a lot more confidence when I hear that Perriman is locked in as the starting X receiver for 2015. Then I won’t have to worry that I’m potentially wasting a pick on a guy who isn’t going to see 100 or more targets.

If I had to guess who will start and garner the most targets for the Ravens, I would say Breshad Perriman. But I would be a lot more confident in that prediction when it’s also congruent with information out of practices. Until then it’s really just a guess.