Ravens: James Proche deserves a role on offense going forward

Ravens, James Proche (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Ravens, James Proche (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Ravens, James Proche
Ravens, James Proche (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

A big-time offseason paved the way for James Proche

Despite facing a role no greater than a special teamer, Proche came to play in the offseason.

Throughout minicamp and training camp, reports poured in of Proche making plays in practice and being one of the Ravens’ standout players of the offseason.

Through the first two preseason games he didn’t do anything of note, catching three passes for 14 yards, but against Washington in the third week of the preseason, he had four catches for 52 yards and a touchdown.

The touchdown was one of the Ravens’ plays of the preseason, but is just another highlight reel catch for Proche’s already-impressive collection.

James Proche was an under-the-radar stud in college

As a prospect, Proche was a receiver I was thrilled to see the Ravens draft.

His career at SMU was very impressive, and he went from strength to strength as he became the number one target in the Mustangs’ offense — he caught 209 passes and 27 touchdowns over his final two seasons.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com graded him as a seventh-round/priority free agent prospect, with excellent ball tracking, body control, and focus on passes downfield.

Despite his lack of typical size and athleticism as a primary receiver, Proche was a master of contested and spectacular catches.

His highlight reel is brimming with plays of Proche getting over or around DBs, making incredible adjustments to the ball and coming down with catches he had no right to secure.

While he had to develop his route running and ability to separate consistently, his ball skills and body control provided signs that he had the tools to develop into a playmaker.