When the Baltimore Ravens selected Central Florida standout wide receiver Breshad Perriman with their first-round pick (No. 26 overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft last spring, they thought they were getting a player who could make an immediate impact and help to replace Torrey Smith, who was lost to the San Francisco 49ers in free agency. Perriman profiled as a perfect fit to do so due to his prowess for catching a deep ball, and making plays with his legs.
Unfortunately for Ravens fans, players, coaches and front office folk alike, the Perriman pick has been disastrous thus far. First, Perriman missed his entire rookie campaign with a torn PCL in his right knee that ultimately required surgery. He was expected to be back firing on all cylinders in 2016, but in what can only be described as an absolutely devastating development, it was announced last week that Perriman, 22, suffered a partially torn ACL in his left knee which could keep him out of most — if not all — of the upcoming season.
There’s an outside chance Perriman will return at some point in 2016. However, it likely won’t happen soon enough for him to make a significant impact on Baltimore’s season. With Steve Smith Sr. coming off an injury of his own, it’s simply not fair to expect him to carry the Ravens pass attack at 37 years old. Kamar Aiken was solid at times when asked to step up over the past two campaigns, but he’s not the type of player who can be a focal point of an NFL offense.
At this point of the offseason, finding someone who can step in, learn a team’s playbook and contribute regularly is next to impossible with most free agents already signed, and the draft in our rear-view mirror. However, former Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin is still available. With virtually nothing to lose (aside from money), Baltimore would be incredibly foolish not to take a flyer on the grizzled veteran.
Boldin, 35, played for the Ravens for three seasons between 2010-12, and had an excellent rapport with quarterback Joe Flacco. Boldin dominated for Baltimore in Super Bowl XLVII, tallying six receptions for 104 yards and one TD all over the aforementioned 49ers.
By no means am I saying Boldin is capable of a monster campaign at this point in his career. But his veteran presence coupled with his familiarity with Flacco and Ravens head coach John Harbaugh can only help a team that has to deal with the tough competition of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North.