James Proche Roster Profile
James Proche was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens with the 22nd pick in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Proche, played his college football at SMU, where he contributed for four years.
In this series we will examine:
- Proche’s prospect profile from our Head of College and NFL Content Simon Carroll
- his productivity in college
- his potential opportunities in the NFL in the upcoming season
PRO’S: Ultra-productive slot receiver who might just have the best hands in this draft. Literally anything thrown his way is a catch – if it’s in his postcode, he’s coming down with the football. Has Odell Beckham level of hands – one handed grabs, scooping up balls by his feet, sideline snags – you name it, he can do it. Very quick feet that help him get just enough separation on his routes and lets his ball skills do the rest. Gritty play from the slot and despite his diminutive stature fights through contact for the ball. Brings the same feisty attitude to blocking duties too.
CON’S: Small – he can high point but he isn’t going to pluck airballs out of the sky down the sidelines. Subpar athleticism – outside of the shiftiness near the line of scrimmage he doesn’t possess the speed to really challenge defenders on his routes. Lacks desired length for the NFL and whilst it hasn’t affected his catching at college, he will be attacked by the new breed of cornerback at the next level. Doesn’t offer much yardage after the catch.
SIMON CARROLL: “Hands like glue and makes circus catches as a routine exercise, James Proche makes football more entertaining. He’s got a battle on his hands to be as effective at the next level as he was at SMU, but boy do I love watching him do his thing. I imagine some scouts will fall in love with him despite his deficiencies. He’s quite simply too productive not to make an NFL roster”.
NFL COMPARISON: COLE BEASLEY
Opportunities at the next level
Proche was one of two wide receivers taken by the Ravens on draft weekend. With Devin Duvernay having been selected in the third round, Proche will be fighting an uphill battle to win a roster spot from Day 1.
Entering the 2020 NFL Draft, the Ravens already had eight wide receivers on their roster. That included last year’s outstanding rookie Marquise Brown. However, outside of Brown, the Ravens wide receiver depth chart hardly makes for exciting reading.
Miles Boykin, Willie Snead, and Chris Moore are all largely role players. Snead lined up in the slot on close to 75% of his snaps last season. That makes him the most likely of last years regular contributors to be who Proche is competing with. However, that competition is likely more for playing time than a roster spot, as all of Snead’s $5 million in salary cap hit is guaranteed in 2020. That all but ensures Snead will be on the roster in 2020.
With Snead entering the last year of his contract, Proche could see himself carried on the roster, even if he does not see the field much. Beating out the bottom half of the depth chart should not be a major issue. Duvernay is likely competing directly with De’Anthony Thomas for the utility role on the roster, which is a completely separate spot to the one Proche is competing with.
As Proche is likely the heir apparent to Snead if he is to have a role on this offense going forward, then Chris Moore is the name he will need to beat out. Moore was on the field for just 156 offensive snaps last season, 110 out of the slot, and has very little guaranteed money on his one-year deal.
Proche should be able to make this roster, simply by proving he is a safe pair of hands over the middle for Lamar Jackson. If he can do that, then he could be primed for a big role in ths offense replacing Snead, either late this season or when Snead’s contract expires after the year.