Breshad Perriman has heard the criticism.
Pundits pointed to his hands as an area of weakness throughout the pre-draft process. After the Ravens selected Perriman with the No. 26 overall pick Thursday night, ESPN's Jon Gruden criticized the receiver for his drops. Perriman took questions about his hands Thursday night in Chicago and again when he arrived in Baltimore Friday.
Now he's out to show that his hands aren't a problem.
"That's definitely something that I have a chip on my shoulder about," Perriman said. "But at the end of the day, I know what I can do. I know that I can catch."
Perriman put up big numbers the last two years at Central Florida, catching 89 passes for 1,855 yards and 13 touchdowns. But Pro Football Focus reported that he had a drop rate of nearly 14 percent in college.
The first-round pick acknowledged that he did let some passes slip through his grasp in college, but doesn't see it as a concern in making the jump to the NFL level.
"I did have some lack of concentration, some mental drops in this past season," he said. "And that's something that I've been working on tremendously. I don't really see it as a weakness, but I will use it as a motivation."
Perriman's hands came up when he made an official pre-draft visit to Baltimore. He told the Ravens he wanted to improve on the concentration drops, and the Ravens spent more time after that visit taking a deeper look at his college tape to get a sense for his hands.
"We went through all his catches, all his non catches, all of his workout tape that we had, and we came away feeling very good about his hands," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "I know the question regarding his hands, and he has a certain number of drops, but most of those drops are last year and early this year. This is a developmental receiver who has gotten a lot better in the last two years."
Perriman will now have a chance to improve his hands under the tutelage of Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Engram, who is a 14-year NFL veteran. General Manager Ozzie Newsome said that "there will be a lot of opportunities for Bobby to work with him just on that one thing," and that work will start next week with rookie minicamp.
"We just have to get him working his hands a little better," Engram said. "But those are the things you get excited about because that's what can make a really good player great."
Perriman knows teams will likely test him next year to see if he's made strides in his catching ability. Defenses will look for a weakness in the rookie's game, and Perriman has no problem with that.
"They may try to exploit it, but I feel like it won't work," Perriman said. "I feel like it would work to my advantage, if anything, because that's not a weakness. That probably will be one of my strengths – ball skills and catching the ball."
The new receiver was greeted by Ravens brass in Owings Mills at the Under Armour Performance Center.