James Proche to Baltimore Ravens: NFL Draft 2020

The Baltimore Ravens selected James Proche, Wide Receiver, out of Southern Methodist University (SMU). He wa the 22nd pick of the sixth round and was the 30th wide receiver drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Biography

James Proche is 5’11” and 201 pounds. After redshirting his first season, he played four years at Southern Methodist. Proche will be 23 years old at the beginning of the 2020 NFL season. During his freshman and sophomore seasons, Proche held his own while competing for targets with Trey Quinn and Courtland Sutton.

College Production

James Proche broke out at the age of 20 (age during their first season with a 20% receiving dominator rating) in his first active season for the Mustangs. Proche’s best season from a market share and efficiency point of view was his junior season at 22 years old. Proche had 93 receptions, for 1,199 receiving yards, and 12 scrimmage touchdowns for a receiving dominator rating (average percentage of their team’s receiving yards and receiving touchdowns) of 39.8% (76th percentile). Proche had solid age-adjusted production despite great numbers due to his redshirt season. He averaged 999.8 scrimmage yards (88th percentile) and 9.8 scrimmage touchdowns (92nd percentile) per season for an average scrimmage dominator rating (average percentage of their team’s scrimmage yards and scrimmage touchdowns) per season of 18.5% (86th percentile). Proche was extremely efficient as well and averaged 1.05 scrimmage yards per team play (82nd percentile). Proche made significant contributions on special teams too. He had 81 returns, for 997 return yards, and zero return touchdowns.


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Athleticism

[profiler]JamesProche[/profiler]

James Proche only participated in the vertical jump and agility drills at the NFL Combine. He tested very poorly in agility drills and has an agility score of 11.67 (9th percentile). The SMU pro day was also cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns but that hasn’t stopped him from training. Proche has the body of a prototypical NFL slot receiver that should be able to withstand big hits while playing over the middle in the NFL.

NFL Landing Spot

Baltimore Ravens: Quarterback Lamar Jackson took a huge step forward in 2019, honing his downfield passing in the offseason and finishing with a third best passer rating of 113.3. In a related development, Bill Polian is currently out of the NFL. The 2019 Ravens were simply great, finishing as the NFL’s best offense on the back of Jackson, Mark Ingram and Mark Andrews. The Ravens ran the seventh most plays, but threw a league lowest  44% of the time. For context, the next run heavy team was the 49ers, who still passed on 50.8% of their plays. Second year tight end Mark Andrews broke out with a team high 98 targets. This was the fifth highest target count amongst tight ends and propelled him to finish as the TE4. First round pick Marquise Brown showed his potential, but was injured for a lot of the season. Despite those limitations, he still managed a 16% target share. But beyond these two, no other player had 50 or more targets. Willie Snead and Miles Boykin sit behind Brown on the depth chart. Boykin is a rookie who profiles as someone with potential. Despite the lack of passing production, a stat worth noting is that the Ravens targeted their RBs the least of any team in football. Andrews will remain a favorite of Jackson’s, proven by the Ravens trading away the higher draft capital Hayden Hurst, and Brown is an unbelievable deep threat, but there is ample room for a receiver who can dominate short and intermediate routes to come in and carve out a nice piece for themselves.

***Editor’s Note*** The Baltimore Ravens selected Devin Duvernay in the third round of the draft.

Rivals’ Rapid Analysis

James Proche compiled a lot of stats at wide receiver and had decent age-adjusted production for SMU. He is built like an NFL slot receiver that demonstrated good hands during his time at SMU. His overall athleticism is unknown but athletic testing numbers can be overvalued at times for wide receivers. The Baltimore Ravens invested late-sixth round draft capital into Proche. He has very limited initial opportunity and will compete with Mark Andrews, Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, and JK Dobbins for targets from Lamar Jackson

James Proche is in Shawn’s fourth wide receiver tier, Shawn’s WR23, and outside of the top 50 rookies. Shawn would not target Proche in rookie drafts. Proche falls to a difficult landing spot here. While it might seem appealing because of how thin it was pre draft, this is a team that passes at one of the lowest rates in the NFL. In 2019, they also targeted the running backs with the least frequency. The Ravens are clearly looking to change that with their selection of Dobbins. Adding Duvernay in the third round to play alongside Brown and Andrews pretty much closed the door on the viability of any other receiver. Proche would need a big injury to be relevant, if that happens pay the price for him at that time, not before.

James Proche is in Daves’s fifth wide receiver tier, rookie WR21-WR23. He’s a slot receiver with a solid production profile and unknown athleticism. He has the feel of a college compiler, but there will be a lot of scoring opportunities in the Baltimore offense. The early opportunity might not be available for the Ravens, but Proche could earn a roster spot as a returner and have a chance to show off his skills and earn more opportunities. As a general rule, it’s a better risk going running back later in rookie drafts, but Proche isn’t a terrible bet in the fourth round of rookie drafts.

 


This article was written in collaboration with Dave Wright. For more analysis check out Dave and Shawn’s previous articles at Dynasty Football Factory. Additionally, you can also find Dave’s dynasty superflex rankings at Dynasty Football Factory. Stay tuned for more rookie wide receiver rapid reaction articles from us throughout the entire NFL Draft. We will also give you instant reactions for priority UDFA wide receivers to help you try and find the next Adam Thielen. Interact with Dave and Shawn on Twitter @ff_spaceman and @ff_walrus. You can listen to our rivalry on our podcast @ATaleofTwoRivals with @ff_banterman.

Information found in this article was gathered from @ff_spaceman’s College Prospect Database, PlayerProfiler.com, Sports-Reference.com, AirYards.com, and a prospect’s college team website.


 

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