Don’t Blink: WR Breshad Perriman running his way into the first round
Every year, there seems to be someone who has a Combine or pro day 40-yard dash time clocked in mid-to-late 4.2 seconds range, but how often is it claimed that a player registers a sub 4.2.
According to some scouts who attended the UCF pro day on Wednesday, Breshad Perriman may have accomplished this outlandish feat and now many are salivating over the prospect who already has incredible size (6’2”, 212 lbs) and now “official” top-level speed.
Why the skeptic quotations? The reason is due to the fact that 40-times at pro days are not exactly definitive. Unlike the NFL Combine where they measure the players’ speeds electronically, at pro days, scouts commonly use manual stop watches to determine the time, leaving an estimated .05-.1 seconds of error.
Regardless, unless every scout fell asleep at the start of the sprint and started their timers late, Breshad still was able to record a remarkable time (sent to teams as between 4.24 and 4.27) that should put him on the watch-list of most NFL draft boards. Already a borderline first round pick, he may have just shifted his gear into the next tier of the draft, possibly cementing a first round bid.
Many teams now look for guys of Perriman’s stature in potential draftees; big-bodied, athletic outside threats who have the speed to separate themselves from the secondary. In recent years, NFL teams have shown this by drafting guys like Calvin Johnson (2007), Dez Bryant (2010), Demaryius Thomas (2010) and Julio Jones (2011) among others, who are all guys who have claimed their place among the best in the league at their position, giving birth to a whole new breed of wide receiver.
Now while his figure and quickness is similar to these perennial pro-bowlers, Perriman is still a work in progress and has some major faults for someone of his position.
To be frank, Breshad has a bad case of stone-hands. He carries with him the biggest red flag a receiver can have, as he dropped 7 passes last year or nearly 13% of his catchable targets.
The former-Knight has also been criticized for hia route-running and lack of work ethic. According to his draft profile on NFL.com, he “Rounds routes” and is “inconsistent at selling routes that don't involve him as the primary target.” He also seems a little one dimensional, as 25% of his targets last year were on “Go” routes.
Despite these defects, Mel Kiper’s second mock draft has the wideout listed at the 15th-overall selection to the San Francisco 49ers. While this is quite a stretch, it would not be surprising to see him be taken off the board by the end of the first, especially after last year’s stud-filled wide receiver class has made a lot of teams look deeply into who could be the next Odell Beckham Jr.
Several places need new faces at wide receiver, including the 49ers at pick 15 (who now need a lot of new faces), Kansas City at pick 18 (who did not see their WR’s catch a touchdown last year), and the Baltimore Ravens at pick 26 (who lost deep-threat Torrey Smith in free agency).
However, a careful warning must be warranted to teams that show interest in the flashy speed of prospects. While Oakland hasn’t picked a true speedster in recent drafts, they made a mockery of themselves by drafting the fastest player three years straight from 2009-2011, while hording a plethora of other roadrunners. All of those players are now on other teams and contributed little to the organization. Oakland has also been consistently one of the worst teams in the league since that time.
Other teams have recently decided to follow the Raiders’ former game plan and expected different outcomes. The Bills, Chiefs, Jets, and Rams have each drafted 3 to 4 of the fastest 15 players in their respective drafts since 2012. The result: none of those teams have averaged a .500 overall record since 2012.
Perriman is a member of a strong receiving class, where he is ranked consistently in the top-5 at the position. He is an interesting case of undeniable talent paired with egregious, but not irreparable flaws.
To see Breshad’s 40-time for yourself, watch the link attached below.
Video Credit: NFL.com
Photo Credit: (John Raoux, Associated Press)
Ryan Berti is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org