Draft Daily: Is UCF WR Breshad Perriman a Fit?
Between now and the draft, we’ll zero in on one prospect a day with an Eagles slant. If you have a player you want covered, let us know on the Birds 24/7 Facebook page.
THE BACK STORY
The Eagles have ramped up their pre-draft visits this week, and one intriguing prospect who reportedly stopped in to the NovaCare Complex is Central Florida wide receiver Breshad Perriman.
Chip Kelly has said multiple times that he believes this is a loaded class of pass catchers. And Perriman is one of the more intriguing receivers out there.
In 2014, Perriman caught 50 balls for 1,044 yards and nine touchdowns, deciding afterwards to forego his senior season. He was one of the best big-play threats in the country, averaging 20.88 YPR. And Perriman was the only player on college football who caught 50+ balls and averaged more than 20 yards per catch.
The son of former NFL wide receiver Brett Perriman, Breshad offers a unique blend of size and speed. It’s nearly impossible to discuss his game without mentioning upside, and that high ceiling could very well result in a team taking Perriman in the first round.
Perriman is 6-2, 212 and jacked up. He didn’t participate in testing at the combine because of an injury, so no spider chart here. But Perriman reportedly ran a 4.27 at his Pro Day.
Granted, Pro Day numbers are often inflated, but Perriman can definitely move. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compared him to Josh Gordon. His “size and movement” made Greg Cosell of NFL Films think of Julio Jones.
In other words, the measurables are great. Perriman can outmuscle defenders and run past them.
Perriman’s biggest strength is probably his body control on downfield catches. He does a really good job of tracking the football down, adjusting and making big plays. Per STATS, Inc., 21 of Perriman’s 50 grabs last year came 16 yards or more from the line of scrimmage.
Here’s an example against East Carolina. Perriman lines up outside, runs the deep post, boxes out the cornerback, leaps and makes the grab (33-second mark):
One of Perriman’s issues is he had eight drops. But Jordan Matthews had drop issues in college, and the Eagles had no qualms about taking him in the second round last spring.
It must also be noted that Perriman comes down with difficult grabs too. At the 1:21 mark here, you can see the ball is thrown behind him on the out-breaking route, but he still adjusts and makes the catch.
Perriman is more well-rounded than he’s given credit for. He’s an excellent downfield threat, but can make plays at every level. Check out the first two plays here where Perriman works the middle of the field and catches the ball in traffic.
At the 5:08 mark here, he gets leveled over the middle, but still hangs on to the ball.
Below are some additional highlights (warning: video contains music with profanity). You’ll see that Perriman has the speed to run past defenders and can track the ball well. His quarterbacks didn’t always help him out, but Perriman can win in multiple ways, including after the catch. He has a big frame, is tough to bring down and is an explosive athlete.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Perriman is the third receiver we’ve covered in this space. The other two were Arizona State’s Jaelen Strong and USC’s Nelson Agholor. Of the three, I think Perriman has the biggest upside. He knows how to use his size and is an explosive athlete who can make big plays downfield. Those attributes equate to a high ceiling.
Given the depth at wide receiver in this class, the feeling here is if the Eagles stay at No. 20, they might be better off addressing another weakness like defensive back or even offensive line.
But Kelly might feel differently, and Perriman’s size/speed combo, along with his ability to make contested catches will be attractive to him. For those reasons, the Central Florida product could be an option in the first round.