The NFL draft process rolls on, and we're getting word of teams attending pro days and hosting prospects for workouts. The New York Giants are notoriously tight-lipped about their movements and interests before the draft. Because of that, word of team visits or pro day attendances are few and far between.
But we've gotten word via ProFootballTalk that the Giants have hosted UCF wide receiver Breshad Perriman for a private workout. Perriman is a player who is generating a ton of buzz in draft circles, but we haven't gotten to him here (yet).
The receiver from Central Florida is one of the true height/weight/speed phenoms and athletic freaks in the 2015 draft. Measuring in at roughly 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, he still runs a blazing 4.25 second 40 yard dash -- some scouts had him as low as 4.22 -- with a 36.5-inch vertical jump and 10-foot,7-inch broad jump. He didn't do the 3-cone or short shuttle, at least that I've been able to find, but on tape he shows suddenness in his cuts and sharp change of direction skills.
(It should be noted that those are all Pro Day numbers. Perriman didn't work out at the combine due to a hamstring injury.)
On the negative side, despite his ridiculous athleticism Perriman's route running is lacking, an obvious hindrance in Ben McAdoo's precision-based offense. Also, during the season he showed some frustrating concentration drops.
This, of course raises a few questions about why are the Giants taking such a close look at Perriman.
Well, it could just be the Giants doing their due diligence. Perriman could be a player they feel they may be likely to face frequently in the future, or has an outside chance of dropping into the second round.
The more interesting thoughts come from what it could mean if the Giants really are seriously interested in drafting Perriman.
First, his current "main stream" draft stock has him being drafted somewhere between the Giants' first- and second-round picks. That, of course, means that most people right now consider him a reach at ninth overall and unlikely to be there at 40th overall. However, the Giants big board might, perhaps even likely, differs from the "main stream" big board. Approximately 11 months ago, Odell Beckham was considered a fringe first-round prospect and a definite reach at 12th overall.
This is just part of a larger scouting trend for the Giants, however. Throughout the draft process the Giants have consistently shown at least some level of interest in the drafts' speed demons. They have met, or will meet,with Devin Smith (WR, Ohio State), Phillip Dorsett (WR, Miami), Dontella Luckett (WR, Harding), and Adrian Luxson (WR, Stony Brook) in addition to Perriman. All of those receivers are capable of turning 40-yard dashes in the 4.3's or quicker.
The Giants are obviously looking to add some serious speed and deep threats to their offense.That leads to the question of "why?"
Well, we do know that a big part of Ben McAdoo's attack is short attacks that lead to yards after the catch (YAC). In those situations speed and agility are obviously a plus.
But we also know that McAdoo pared back his play-calling after the first two games. The Giants' interest in speedy, deep threat receivers could give us a clue at what the complete playbook might look like. Personally, I'm wondering if the "full" playbook is more of a hybrid offense than we have seen thus far. Players like Perriman or Dorsett, who have the ability to blow the top off a defense on any play, lend themselves well to an Air Coryell -- Such as the Chargers under Norv Turner -- or Air Raid -- such as West Virginia or Texas A&M -- offense that features vertical routes to stretch a defense down the field.
If the full playbook has those concepts in it, the Giants "full" offense could actually resemble the New Orleans Saints under Sean Payton, an offense which freely blended West Coast and Air Coryell principles to create a dynamic and record-breaking offense. Adding that vertical threat would only serve to make the West Coast foundation of the Giants' offense all the more dangerous. If teams have to keep their safeties deep and play zone coverage, then that makes short routes more effective and creates YAC opportunities. It also prevents defenses from blitzing or stacking the box to stop the rushing attack.
The news that the Giants have worked out Breshad Perriman might not make many waves, but he is certainly an interesting prospect, and the potential implications for the Giants' offense are pretty interesting as well.