Summary: One would think that a receiver with Perriman's size and speed would be in the mix to be a high first-round pick. After all, he is bigger than Alabama's Amari Cooper and ran faster than West Virginia's Kevin White. Sources who were at Perriman's pro day said the time ranges on his 40-yard dash were in the 4.19-4.25-second range. However, both Cooper and White are the clear top two receivers in the 2015 NFL Draft and are likely top-10 picks. Perriman is more likely to be taken late in the first round.
The reason for the position is that teams feel that Perriman isn't as polished or complete as the top two receivers. For starters, Perriman drops a lot of passes, and those errors come in bunches. Sources say that Perriman also isn't a great route-runner and is tight in and out of his breaks. They feel he is really just a vertical receiver. Perriman also doesn't play up to his size or speed all the time. He typically doesn't play as fast he timed and isn't physical with defenders despite having more size and strength than the vast majority of defensive backs.
That being said, you can't coach size or speed. Perriman has the ability to burn defenses downfield and also can catch a slant and take it to the house by running away from defenses. Perriman can take the top off of a defense by running go routes along the sideline and has the potential to become a difference-maker in the NFL. He has a lot of upside to work with as a big-play threat. Perriman's NFL coaches will need to develop his route-running (cleanliness and variety), hands and get him to play more physical.
Perriman totaled 41 receptions for 906 yards and nine touchdowns during 2014. He had some issues with dropped passes that prevented what could have been an even bigger season. With Blake Borles as his quarterback in 2013, he caught 39 receptions for 811 yards and four touchdowns. Perriman had 26 catches for 388 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman.
Given the underdeveloped nature of Perriman's game, there is a wide range of draft grades on him. He could go as high as the middle of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, but he could slip to the second round. Perhaps Perriman is most likely area to be selected in the late first round.
Player Comparison: Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery and Perriman have a number of similarities. Both are big receives with the speed to make plays downfield. They are vertical threats who have the size to make catches over defensive backs downfield. Jeffery (6-3, 216) is a more polished route-runner and has better hands, while Perriman has more straight-line speed. In the NFL, I could see Perriman being similar to Jeffery, but the former may not be quite as good as the Bears' 2012 second-round pick.
NFL Matches: New Orleans, San Francisco, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Baltimore Ravens, New England
In the teens, some teams could start considering Perriman. It is obvious that Cleveland needs to improve its receiving talent. Josh Gordon can't be counted on in the franchise's long-term plans, and the Browns have to give their young quarterbacks something to work with.
New Orleans took a wide receiver in the first round last year, but the team still needs to get more weapons for Drew Brees after trading Jimmy Graham. Marques Colston is slowing down, so adding a receiver with size to pair with the speedy Brandin Cooks could make sense for the Saints. Perriman could be in play at either of their first-round picks.
Even though the 49ers signed Torrey Smith, they could use more young receiving talent given the age of Anquan Boldin, and the departure of Michael Crabtree. Similarly, the Texans need a future No. 1 receiver to replace Andre Johnson.
Even after signing Jeremy Maclin, the Chiefs need to give Alex Smith more receiving weapons to work with. Kansas City could have a big-play combination with Perriman and Maclin. The Eagles lost Maclin, but Perriman's size and speed could make him an intriguing receiver for Chip Kelly.
The Dolphins moved on from Mike Wallace, and Perriman could be a good fit in the Miami offense. He could make sense for the organization of the first round.
Baltimore could be a good fit for Perriman as a vertical threat with Joe Flacco's big arm. Perriman's size and speed is similar to what Marc Trestman had with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
New England won the Super Bowl despite being weak at receiver. Adding a big-play threat on the outside could help the Patriots' offense and take advantage of teams playing more underneath coverage to stop Julian Edelman.