On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Apr. 26, 2018 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM EDT Flock Party Draft Edition Fans are invited to attend the Ravens Flock Party: Draft Edition at Hightopps Backstage Grille to watch the first night of the NFL Draft. Starting at 6 p.m., 98 Rock and WBAL Radio will broadcast live, while Ravens alumni players, including WR Jacoby Jones and FB Le’Ron McClain, Ravens Cheerleaders and mascot Poe join the festivities onsite for a night of giveaways, photos and autographs. Fans in attendance will also have a chance to enter to win a $10,000 cash prize by correctly picking the Ravens’ first draft pick.
  • Thu., Apr. 26, 2018 8:00 PM EDT NFL Draft Follow the Baltimore Ravens through the 2018 NFL Draft.
  • Sat., Apr. 28, 2018 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EDT Draft Fest On Saturday, April 28, the Ravens will host Ravens Draft Fest, presented by Verizon, at a new location – Baltimore’s Inner Harbor – from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Fans will be able to watch Day Three of the NFL Draft and be a part of Ravens history when the team announces its fourth-, fifth- and sixth-round selections live from the Baltimore Harbor via the NFL Network.
  • Thu., May. 31, 2018 5:00 PM EDT Beach Bash Flock to the Beach with the Ravens for our annual Ravens Beach Bash presented by Miller Lite.



Eisenberg: Ravens Need Breshad Perriman To Become A Playmaker, And He's Capable Of It

Posted Feb 14, 2017

With Steve Smith Sr. retired, the Ravens are looking for the former first-round pick to become a major offensive force, and that’s fair to expect.

It wasn’t hard to discern what Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh was intimating when he spoke to reporters after the Pittsburgh Steelers rallied to beat his team on Christmas.

“They made big plays and got the ball in the end zone. Obviously, that was the difference in the game,” Harbaugh said.

Translation: We need playmakers.

It has become a common theme among the team’s decision-makers since the Ravens went 8-8 in 2016 and missed the playoffs.

“We need playmakers in Baltimore,” Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz told my colleague Ryan Mink at the Senior Bowl earlier this month. “That’s what wins you games, guys on offense that can make the critical catch on third down. To be honest, our season ended disappointingly with a guy that made a great football play.”

No translation required there. Hortiz flat-out said the Ravens need playmakers.

It’s certainly true, and there’ll be plenty of talk about various free agents and potential draft picks in the coming weeks. But honestly, whenever I hear team officials talk about playmaking, an image of a guy already on the team flashes in my head.

In my purple glossary, “we need playmakers” is code for “we need Breshad Perriman to be a playmaker.”

Is there any doubt?

The Ravens had the same need when they drafted Perriman with their first-round pick, No. 26 overall, two years ago. It went without saying that they hoped they were getting a difference-making receiver. That’s what any team expects from any skill-position player taken so high.

But the Ravens are still waiting for Perriman, 23, to become that guy.

After a major knee injury sidelined him as a rookie, he debuted in 2016, catching 33 passes for 499 yards and three touchdowns, relatively modest totals. There were flashes of brilliance, but Perriman also dropped balls, shied from contact at times and disappeared for long stretches.

As they formulate a plan for 2017, the Ravens are looking for what GM Ozzie Newsome called a “complementary” veteran receiver, and also possibly a running back with “pop” potential. But make no mistake, what they really want is more playmaking from the young guy already here.

With Steve Smith Sr. gone, they’re looking for Perriman to become a major offensive force.

Is it fair to expect that? I think so. Everyone could see he was raw last season, but when he put his speed to use in 2016, it took your breath away.  Now he needs to put his head down, take the same developmental step as a young Torrey Smith and start grinding out those third-down receptions Hortiz referenced.

“I know what I need to work on, my route running,” Perriman said after the season.

Remember, because of the knee injuries that threatened to derail his career before it started, he has never experienced a normal, healthy offseason or training camp, key periods for a young player. In other words, he’s just getting going. If you’re ready to dismiss him already, slow down. Between his obvious natural ability and earnest attitude, which draws praise from veterans, it’s still possible a bona fide playmaker is lurking.

“To me, there are signs that is possible,” Harbaugh said. “But he has a ways to go; he has a lot of work to do to get it done. You see the radius and you see the speed, and I think you see that here is a guy who has a chance. Now, he has to refine his route-running, he has to refine his hands, his catching and just become an all-around really good receiver. This is his first year of practicing. He did not even have training camp. To me, there is a lot of upside there.”

Going forward, the Ravens are looking for improvement from a host of young players such as linebacker Kamalei Correa, running back Kenneth Dixon, tackle Ronnie Stanley, guard Alex Lewis and almost more tight ends than I can count.

But Perriman tops that list.

Bringing in productive veteran receivers can help; the Ravens certainly have worked that angle well. But to bolster your long-range prospects, there’s no substitute for developing your own young playmaker – a guy who will be around.

The Ravens drafted Perriman with that idea, and as he enters his third season, finally healthy, with experience to build on, they need him to become the guy they envisioned.

Related Tags

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos