Joe Flacco Impressed With Breshad Perriman, Maxx Williams


Joe Flacco could hear the enthusiasm in John Harbaugh's voice.

The Ravens head coach called his quarterback just after taking top tight end Maxx Williams in the second round in this year's draft. Picking Williams followed the selection of speedy receiver Breshad Perriman a day earlier, and Harbaugh couldn't wait to talk with Flacco.

In a matter of 24 hours, the Ravens provided their franchise quarterback with a pair of much-needed targets who have the potential to become difference makers in Baltimore's offense.

"I was excited, definitely," Flacco said after a recent offseason practice. "And I think part of the reason I was excited is that everybody around here seemed to be excited. It definitely felt good."

Perriman's arrival could give Flacco and the offense the true top receiver they've wanted for years. He has the prototypical size (6-foot-2, 212 pounds) and speed (4.22 seconds in the 40-yard dash) to become a big target and downfield threat.

The rookie's talent was immediately apparent to his new quarterback.

"I'm happy with Breshad," Flacco said. "He looks really good. He looks big, powerful, runs well."

The biggest question about Perriman has been the quality of his hands, but that criticism seems misplaced to Flacco after getting on the field with the first-round pick. 

"His hands look like they're really good," Flacco said. "He looks like he has big, strong hands. He snatches the ball out of the air."

In addition to Perriman, Flacco also has new targets in Williams and fifth-round tight end Nick Boyle. Pass-catching tight ends are a staple in the system Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman plans to run, and Flacco loves to get them involved.

Dennis Pitta, Todd Heap, Owen Daniels and Dallas Clark have all be critical pass catchers for Flacco, and he likes adding new pieces in the mix.

"The fact that we have a couple of young guys that we know can play and think can play – that's going to be big," Flacco said. "If everything works out the way we want to and expect it to, it's going to give us a handful of years with it. I think they're a huge part of the game.

"They're a huge outlet for me to be able to drop it to them and let them do their thing. Hopefully, they'll prove to be huge."

Injecting young playmakers into the offense was a priority this offseason. The Ravens had lost or parted ways with Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones and Owen Daniels. Pitta's future is in question. Veteran Steve Smith Sr. just turned 36 years old. 

Flacco is heading into his eighth season in Baltimore, and the only time the Ravens had used a first- or second-round pick on a pass catcher for him was on Torrey Smith in 2011.

They decided to buck that trend in a big way.

"You never know what's going to happen on draft day, and who is going to be picked where, and what the circumstances are going to be when your pick comes up," Flacco said. "I have total trust in [the personnel staff]. They're the ones doing the work. They're the ones looking at the guys, watching film and working them out."

This year's draft was the most offensive-minded draft for Baltimore in years. After using their first three picks on defensive players in 2013 and 2014, the Ravens took offensive skill players with five of their nine picks this year.

Flacco insists he didn't go to General Manager Ozzie Newsome to advocate for an offensive-laden draft, but it sure played out in his favor.

"I'm happy with it," he said with a smile.

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