There are any number of intriguing elements to the story of WR Breshad Perriman, who recently climbed aboard the Jets as Robby Anderson was deplaning for Carolina.
One is that with Perriman leaving Tampa Bay after one year, new Buccaneers QB Tom Brady has fewer speedy, dangerous receivers to throw to. Never mind that Perriman was an unrestricted free agent who might not have returned to TB anyway, or that the Jets won't face Brady again in the regular season until the Bucs come to MetLife Stadium in 2021.
But that Perriman speed is one of the charms of his very interesting game.
How Fast? 4.19 Seconds Fast??
That was the 40-yard dash time that has been trumpeted for Perriman, according to one scout's stopwatch at his 2015 Central Florida pro day. One issue, though, is pro day stopwatch vs. Combine electronic timing. He didn't participate in the Combine due to a hamstring injury.
Then there is the matter of one scout's watch. Other scouts apparently had slightly slower times. On nfl.com the time was reported as "4.24 and 4.27 seconds." Another report had him "in the 4.19-4.25-second range."
So Perriman may not be quite as fast as Bo Jackson, whose 4.13-second 40 at his 1986 pro day has been disputed but is still often cited as the best ever by an NFLer-to-be. And he's right around the speed of Cincinnati WR John Ross, who set the electronically timed Combine mark of 4.22 in 2017, and RB Chris Johnson, who turned his 4.24 in 2005.
But you get the idea. As Pro Football Hall of Fame WR Michael Irvin has said of Perriman: "The speed this kid has is incredible. He can absolutely fly."
See the Best Images of the Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wide Receiver
Not a Lot of Catches as a Pro
Perriman's receiving line shows that he hasn't had a lot of receptions in his four pro seasons with three different teams. His career totals are 95 catches for 1,561 yards and 11 touchdowns. And in his career season, last year with Tampa Bay, he had 36 catches for 645 yards and 6 TDs in 14 games (645 offensive snaps).
By comparison, Anderson's 2019 line was 52 catches for 779 yards and 5 TDs in 16 games (926 snaps).
A few injuries reduced Perriman's playing time, but it would be natural to assume that HC Adam Gase and OC Dowell Loggains will want to use No. 19's '19 season as a foundation for more PT and a greater offensive impact.
Make a Catch, Move the Chains
Some other Perriman traits make it imperative to optimize his receptions. When he catches the ball, he does it down the field. His career yards/catch average is 16.4 with a career high of 21.3 with Cleveland in 2018.
Also when he catches the ball, he takes the chains with him. In 2018-19, he had 52 catches and 42 went for first downs, an 80.8% conversion rate that was fifth-best among all pass-catchers in the NFL.
And if we fit Breshad's 80.6% rate from last year into a list of the Jets' best season first-down reception conversion rates since 1991 (minimum of 25 catches), he comes in quite favorably:
|Breshad Perriman (TB)||2018||36||29||80.6|
Dropped Passes? Not So Much
One of the scouting observations on Perriman when he was coming out of UCF before the 2015 NFL Draft was that "his drops will drive teams crazy." But that hasn't been as much of an issue for him lately.
Drops are scored very subjectively by different platforms, but at least one, 360.sportradar.com, says he was among the NFL's surest-handed pass-catchers the past two years, when with those 52 catches he was the only wideout with 35-plus receptions and no drops.