The Baltimore Ravens seemed to take to heart this offseason the lesson that they simply have a really hard time drafting wide receivers. They signed three new starting wide receivers in free agency to make up the top of their depth chart, those being Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead.
Looking through their draft history to target the wide receiver position specifically, it would be hard to imagine how this franchise has won two Super Bowls. They may be one of the worst teams in the league in successfully evaluating college talent at the position, a point made all the clearer with the fact that their free agent additions have often had great success in Baltimore.
The latest albatross across the franchise’s neck is Breshad Perriman, their 2015 first-round draft pick, a big, tall wide receiver who has caught 43 passes for 576 yards and three touchdowns in 27 career games played. Most of that came in 2016 as he was demoted last season.
He may be playing in his last game as a Raven tonight against Washington, his roster spot, after three seasons, very much in jeopardy. There are some arguments for his being given yet another shot, but perhaps more against.
For one thing, he is not going to crack the top three wide receivers. And third-year Chris Moore seems to have solidified himself into the number four role. Then there is 2017 college free agent Tim White, who could be a return specialist and offensive contributor. The team liked him a lot, but he spent the season on injured reserve.
Either White or rookie Janarion Grant figure to make the team as the Ravens’ return specialist, which means that he is going to be getting a helmet. So if Perriman were to even make the roster, he likely would find himself in a situation similar to Justin Hunter: a big, tall, underproducing talent who can’t dress without injuries because he offers nothing on special teams.
For whatever reason, Ozzie Newsome has had a lot of success managing to get other teams to covet his players, whether it is in unrestricted free agency (recouping compensatory draft picks) or through straight trades. So they could look to deal the former first-round pick.
Through four preseason games so far (remember, Baltimore played in the Hall of Fame game), Perriman has caught eight passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. But he has only caught three passes for 22 yards over the past two games. And he had just two catches for 19 yards in the first.