If you feel bad about how the Pittsburgh Steelers perform drafting cornerbacks, just be grateful that they don’t have the same issues that the Baltimore Ravens do drafting wide receivers. I think their ineptitude in this department is pretty well-documented and within the realm of public knowledge.
But we seem to be seeing this trend continue so far through the early stages of the career of Breshad Perriman, who was the Ravens’ first-round draft pick in 2015. While he previously had injuries as an excuse, he is and has been healthy now, and there is really no compelling reason for his struggles.
According to an article written by Jamison Hensley (prior to Sunday’s game, admittedly), Perriman has been literally the least efficient wide receiver in the NFL, with the lowest reception percentage (21.1 percent of passes caught on his targets leading into the game) and the fewest receptions per route run (just 2.8 percent of routes).
On Sunday against the Titans, he did nearly double his reception total, from four to seven, with three catches for 28 yards. He now has 54 receiving yards after having just 26 up to this point. He has caught only seven of 26 targets, which is finally over 25 percent, but is still terrible, and is averaging just 7.7 yards per reception with a long of 14.
Last season, the UCF product recorded 33 receptions for 499 yards and three touchdowns in what was seen as a glimmer of more to come. And early reports out of the spring and in training camp indicated that he looked like a superstar.
But that is because he’s 6’2”, 215 pounds and with strong athletic traits. Those players tend to look good in scrimmages. The Steelers have one of those types of players on their roster as well, as a former second-round draft pick.
As is predictable, Perriman also has dropped passes and has struggled to fight for the ball. The latter led to one of Joe Flacco’s two interceptions against the Titans on Sunday, which helped drop the Ravens to 4-5 on the season, back under .500 for the second time this year.
Baltimore’s top two wide receivers have been free agent signings off the cut list from the past two years in Mike Wallace, the former Steeler, and Jeremy Maclin. Neither of them have achieved what is needed out of them.
Maclin has caught 27 of 43 targets for 310 yards and three touchdowns. He did have his best game in Tennessee, catching eight passes for 98 yards. Wallace has 20 receptions on 35 targets for 267 yards and two touchdowns. He caught four passes for just 19 yards against the Titans, but one was for a touchdown.