Former 2015 1st
Despite losing future hall of famer, Steve Smith, to retirement and losing depth player, Kamar Aiken, to the Colts in free agency, the Ravens shockingly failed to address the WR position in this year’s NFL draft. As it stands now, the Ravens will enter the 2017 season with veteran Mike Wallace and unproven youngster, Breshad Perriman, as Joe Flacco’s top receiving options on the perimeter.
One reason to love Perriman’s outlook in 2017 is the fact that the Ravens led the NFL in pass attempts in 2016 with 679. That’s right, Joe Flacco threw the ball more times than Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers. With virtually no competition in front of him on the depth chart, Perriman’s opportunity to break out in year three is right in front of him as there is plenty of volume to go around…if he can stay on the field.
Perriman’s first two seasons in the NFL were injury riddled, limiting his production, and ability to build rapport with his QB. His injuries date back to his pre-professional days, as the UCF product actually was forced to sit out of the NFL combine due to a hamstring strain. As the 2015 NFL season approached, dynasty owners were all in on Perriman as a promising prospect. However, Perriman sprained his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in his right knee on the first day of training camp, and he struggled to return to the field, eventually being placed on injured reserve.
The PCL’s main role is to stabilize the knee during dynamic activities, such as running, jumping, and cutting. It is similar to the ACL in that when injured, the knee can feel unstable. However, unlike the ACL, most isolated PCL injuries that are grade 2 or lower are treated non-operatively. Despite the fact that players can often avoid the knife with this type of injury, it can be a slow, difficult process to come back, especially during the season as we saw with Perriman.
After sitting out all of 2015, dynasty owners were again excited about Perriman entering 2016. However, in a familiar scenario, Perriman sprained his ACL during workouts at OTA’s. After consulting with Dr. James Andrews, it was determined that Perriman would not require surgery to repair his ACL. As a result, Perriman made his NFL debut in week 1 of the 2016 NFL season, and he managed to stay on the field throughout the season, albeit in a depth role behind starters Steve Smith and Mike Wallace.
There’s no question that Perriman has yet to establish himself as a legitimate NFL WR. However, he plays in one of the most pass happy offenses in the league, is penciled in as the starter entering 2017, and he can be had for cheap in dynasty leagues. According to the latest ADP on Dynasty Nerds, Perriman is currently being drafted in the 8th round of start up drafts. There’s a solid chance the Perriman owner is frustrated with owning him through his first two seasons. If that’s the case, I recommend making him/her an offer and buying low before the hype builds again entering 2017.
*Statistics from NFL.com
*Injury details obtained from baltimoreravens.com