Breshad Perriman is flirting with the overused, unfair 'bust' label in Baltimore.
After missing his entire rookie season, Perriman earned just 33 catches for 499 yards and three touchdowns in 2016. Most expected more from the first-round pick out of the gate.
He's already being termed a bust by some, but Perriman has an idea what Ravens fans will be saying about him a year from now.
"He's the real deal," the receiver told the team's official website on The Lounge Podcast when asked what fans would be saying about him next offseason.
Perriman earned the third-most targets on the Ravens last season and started just one game. With Steve Smith Sr. retiring and Kamar Aiken leaving in free agency, Baltimore needs Perriman to morph into the No. 1 receiver.
"I can't wait. I've been waiting for this moment all along," Perriman said. "I'm expecting a huge year from me, to be honest with you."
While Perriman started just one game, he played in all 16 contests last season, a big goal for the wideout after missing his entire first season with injury.
"That was big," Perriman said. "I felt like all along I could stay healthy. The injuries that happened my rookie year were freak accidents. I never thought of myself as injury-prone. My goal was to stay healthy and it happened, and I want to build on that this year.
"I fell a little short [of my overall goals], but I won't fall short this year."
When general manager Ozzie Newsome eschewed adding a receiver in the draft, he noted that most times the answer is already on the roster -- using last year's linebacking sensation Zach Orr to illustrate his point. While adding a veteran at some point, like an Anquan Boldin, is possible, the Ravens pass offense needs Perriman to make the leap in Year 3.
"I'm not as tense," Perriman said of his confidence entering 2017. "I'm going out there and playing free, playing faster. And catching wise, I feel like my hand-eye coordination has gotten incredibly better.
"I know how much potential I have. I'm just ready to put it all together. It is going to come together."
The Ravens' pass-catching corps looks extremely bland on paper. Behind Perriman and Mike Wallace sit Michael Campanaro, Chris Matthews, Chris Moore, Kenny Bell, Kennan Reynolds, Vince Mayle, a gaggle of undrafted free agents at receiver. The tight end crew of Dennis Pitta, Benjamin Watson (returning from season-ending injury), Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle and Darren Waller offer solid, reliable targets, but no one that tips the field.
The best shot for the Ravens to find dynamic plays in the passing game is Perriman morphing into the downfield playmaker he was drafted to become in Baltimore.