Through the past two decades, the Baltimore Ravens have been one of the best drafting teams in the first round. Each year, it seems like no matter where in the first round the Ravens pick from, they will always find a star.
In 2014 it was C.J. Mosley.
In 2008 it was Joe Flacco.
In 2002 it was Ed Reed.
Heck, even all the way back in 1996, they were killing it in the first round. They had two selections that year and only managed to draft two Hall of Fame players in Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis.
Unfortunately, though, even the best occasionally pick wrong and in 2015, the Ravens picked very wrong.
OK, maybe I’m being a little harsh on Breshad Perriman, the 26th pick in the 2015 draft, especially considering that he has yet to play a game. But at this point can you blame me?
The bottom line is that the situation with Perriman has caused a problem for the Ravens. They originally drafted him to be the anchor to their receiving group, but after knee injuries in his first two training camps, reliability isn’t exactly his strong point.
Now there is positive news about the situation. Perriman, who partially tore his ACL earlier this offseason, was finally activated off the physically unable to perform list after being able to pass his physical for the first time. So, at least, he will finally be able to return to practice.
Ultimately, though, seeing Perriman running around in practice does nothing for Ravens’ fans who have every reason to be skeptical. Last season he was able to run and practice for several weeks, but always the injury lingered enough to keep him off the field.
As a result, he became the first Ravens’ first-round draft pick not to play in a single game his rookie season.
As you can imagine, there is now a ton of pressure on him to return to the field this year and perform. And Perriman is confident that he’ll be able to be out there when the Ravens play their first game of the season in three weeks.
“I don’t have any doubt in my mind that I won’t be ready [for week one],” he said. I’m attacking it right now like I will be ready, and I think I will.”
For Perriman, the mental side of the recovery is the main thing he will need to get through now. After all, he will need to have faith in his surgically repaired knee after being away from football for two years if he is going to have any chance at succeeding. But according to him, he’s already past that stage of the rehab process.
“I feel like I have been working hard in rehab, I feel like I’m healthy,” he said. “So I’m not really trying to baby [my knee] or anything like that. I’m just trying to go out there and play fast and really not think about it at all.”
Now, hopefully, Perriman goes out there and stays healthy and becomes a great player for the Ravens. Who knows maybe he even turns it around and becomes the next Hall-of-Famer from Baltimore’s first-round picks.
But if I were a betting man, I certainly wouldn’t put one penny on that happening at this point. Honestly, I’d probably push all my money towards the likelihood that he gets hurt again, considering his track record.
And for the Ravens, this uncertainty creates a real problem. They have to give Perriman every opportunity to succeed after using such a high pick on him, but at what point does it eventually hinder the team. At what point does it become a distraction.
“[I’m] very eager,” Perriman said about returning. “It’s coming real soon. I know it will be worth the wait.”
In the end, his play better be worth the wait for the Ravens, because if it’s not, then, Baltimore will have a serious problem on their hands.