Ravens set to face former first-round draft choice Breshad Perriman, now a Browns wide receiver

Breshad Perriman, the Ravens’ 2015 first-round draft pick, has begun to show flashes of his potential — but as a member of the Cleveland Browns.

The wide receiver has caught 13 passes for 295 yards and one touchdown in nine games, including two starts. He had two receptions for at least 76 yards in two of the Browns’ past three games and had one catch for a 31-yard touchdown in a 17-16 win over the Denver Broncos on Dec. 15.

A couple of Ravens cornerbacks are already familiar with Perriman, who returns to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday for the first time since Sept. 1 when the organization waived him.

“That’s a guy we faced on a daily basis for a few years,” Brandon Carr said Wednesday. “So we’re not surprised by the speed he shows on film. It’s a matter of just guys putting it all together. We are all light bulbs. We click at different times. It’s just a matter of him maturing and figuring the game out. He’s playing some good ball right now.”

Added Jimmy Smith: “I’ve battled Breshad his entire career here, and I know exactly what he likes to do and what he’s really good at. Obviously, he’s putting it on display over there.”

Originally drafted by the Ravens as the 26th overall selection in 2015, Perriman played in only 27 of a possible 48 games through his first three NFL seasons and endured a disappointing 2017 in which he caught only 10 passes for 77 yards. Perriman had more than one reception in only three games and was a healthy scratch in four of the final seven games.

His career with the Ravens was marked by injuries. His rookie season was wiped out by a partially torn PCL in his right knee. His return the next season was delayed by a partially torn ACL in his left knee during an offseason training activity in June, keeping him on the team’s physically-unable-to-perform list until August 2016. And a strained right hamstring kept him on the sideline for much of the 2017 preseason.

After spending five days with the Washington Redskins, Perriman was signed by Cleveland on Oct. 13 and has made a favorable impression with his teammates and coaches.

“He’s done a very good job of coming in here on a short amount of time, and his work ethic has been outstanding with how hard and how much he prepares in the meeting room before he ever goes out on the field,” Browns interim coach Gregg Williams said in a conference call with Baltimore media. “And then he’s practiced so hard, and he’s gained the confidence and trust of his coaches, and he’s gained the confidence and trust of his teammates, and most importantly, he’s gained the confidence and trust of his quarterback. So all that is earned, and he’s done a very good job of earning that trust.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who had publicly campaigned for Perriman to find employment elsewhere, said the team is wary of what the Browns receiver can do.

“Before the game, I’ll just say hi to him, and we’ll defend him,” he said. “We have a lot of respect for him as a player from what we’ve seen on tape and what we know about him, his talents. Speed, deep guy for sure, crossing routes. Those are things we have to be on the lookout for. So he’s an opponent, and we’ll be looking forward to doing what we can to basically — just like all the other players — control what he does.”

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