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Breshad Perriman Won't Stop Ravens From Drafting Another First-Round WR


In the Ravens' first 19 years of existence, they drafted a wide receiver with their top pick just once (Mark Clayton, 2005).

They did it a second time when they made Breshad Perriman the No. 26 pick of the 2015 NFL Draft.

So does spending a first-round pick at wide receiver just two years ago mean the Ravens aren't likely to do it again this year?

"No, that would have [no bearing]," General Manager Ozzie Newsome said during Wednesday's pre-draft press conference.

"If we feel like the best player at 16 is a wide receiver, and we feel like he's going to come in and help Joe [Flacco] and help the other guys, we'll turn that card in in a hurry."

Many mock drafts have the Ravens picking a wide receiver at No. 16. They list either Clemson's Mike Williams, Western Michigan's Corey Davis or Washington's John Ross. It seems Baltimore should have a chance to draft at least one of them.

Any of the three prospects would instantly upgrade Baltimore's offense, and help make up for the retirement of Steve Smith Sr. and departure of Kamar Aiken (Buffalo Bills).

Williams is a big-bodied target who made a number of clutch plays for Clemson last season, including in the national championship game over Newsome's beloved Alabama.

Davis is also a big-bodied target billed as perhaps the best route-runner in this year's class who put up monster stats (331 receptions, 5,278 yards, 52 touchdowns) during his four years in the lower-tier MAC conference.

Ross is the speedster who posted a record-breaking 4.22 40-yard dash at this year's combine, and who is a dynamic home run threat every time he touches the ball at either receiver or returner.

Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta was asked which wide receivers he envisions the Ravens having a chance to get at No. 16. He named just Williams and Ross.

"Obviously, Mike Williams is a great player. We saw him this year what he did at Clemson. He's a guy that is probably going to go in that range somewhere," DeCosta said.

"I think John Ross from Washington is an explosive playmaker. He'll be probably a consideration in that range too. Those would be two guys that I think are very good players that probably warrant that sort of a draft grade."

After that, DeCosta said Davis and USC's JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has drawn comparisons to former Raven Anquan Boldin, are two examples of "a bunch of other guys that are probably somewhere [around] there."

"Corey Davis from Western Michigan would be a guy I think teams like," DeCosta said. "Smith-Schuster from USC, he's another guy that two years ago probably would have been a consensus, easy top-20 pick. He's a very talented player too. Numbers weren't quite as good this year at USC, but he's a player that a lot of people like as well."

There were multiple questions during Wednesday's press conference aimed at the notion of the Ravens finding a No. 1 wide receiver. As it stands now, the Ravens have just two wide receivers who had more than seven catches last season: Perriman and Mike Wallace.

A big question is whether Perriman can become a true No. 1 receiver. The Ravens certainly hoped he would when they drafted him two years ago. After missing his rookie season due to a lingering knee injury, Perriman took strides last year, but has yet to reach that expectation.

"Are you asking if we have a No. 1 wide receiver?" Head Coach John Harbaugh asked one reporter. "I'm hoping Breshad Perriman develops into a playmaker on the roster. Mike Wallace is definitely a playmaker on the roster."

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