Breshad Perriman was the last man standing.
Thursday night's first round of the NFL draft didn't leave the Ravens with many options once the 26th pick came around. In fact, only one was remaining. As a result, the Ravens didn't take much time deliberating who to take because only one player was left on their board. Fortunately for the Ravens, at least one player with a high grade was still out there.
That made the decision process fairly simple, with the Ravens calling up the speedy Central Florida receiver once they were on the clock.
"We were sweating it quite a bit, and it’s just one of those things," Ravens assistant manager Eric DeCosta said in a press conference following the pick. "Our board got wiped. The last couple years – not last year, but a couple years – we’ve had that happen to us where we’ve just gotten wiped out. Some drafts we’ve had to trade out [of the first round]. This year, we finally got something to fall our way, because we were getting wiped out. But fortunately he was there.”
“We probably would have traded back, yes, if he didn’t make it to us," general manager Ozzie Newsome said.
Earlier this offseason, owner Steve Bisciotti said he didn't think the Ravens needed to take a receiver early and that there would be plenty in the later rounds. Bisciotti went as far to say he preferred a pass-rusher or cornerback. But as the way the draft went, the Ravens didn't have a choice based on their board.
DeCosta even admitted that the Ravens weren't able to nail the pick he thought, or hoped, they were going to get heading in.
“I didn’t get it right this year," DeCosta said. "I hate to say it, unfortunately. Maybe it was wishful thinking on my part – just one of those years. But in saying that, I was close, and I’m ecstatic to get the guy we got.”
Though the Ravens may have missed on their No. 1 choice, they're still plenty excited about what they see in Perriman.
“Again, you have a guy that with that type of speed, bringing that vertical presence," Newsome said. "What it does is it makes Steve [Smith, Sr.], Kamar [Aiken], Marlon [Brown], the tight ends – and hopefully we’ll get some tight ends tomorrow or the next day – it just makes all of those guys better. And it makes our running guy – Justin [Forsett] – I said, ‘It will be hard to put the eighth guy or the extra guy in the box when you have a guy like that, that can take the top off the defense.’”