This is a new podcast segment I am doing each week. I’ll publish the report for the previous week’s Devy Debrief when a new episode drops. You can listen to this segment in Episode 33 of the Ride or Dynasty Podcast. The purpose is to bring you a devy prospect who is draft eligible this year to keep an eye on as we near the end of college football season and transition into rookie draft season.
I won’t be talking about the D’Andre Swifts, Jerry Jeudys and CeeDee Lambs of the world here. We all know about those guys and we know they’re gonna be drafted very highly in rookie drafts everywhere. My aim is to bring you under-the-radar players and sleepers whose names may not be known to many – yet.
So, I’m kicking this thing off with one of my favorite sleepers at wide receiver in this incoming class:
James Proche (pro-shay), Redshirt Senior from SMU, a school known to produce NFL talent at the receiver position. Current SMU receivers in the pros include Courtland Sutton, Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley, and Trey Quinn. Proche is next in line to keep this trend going.
Sure, he’s not the biggest guy on the field at 6 feet tall, 193 pounds, nor is he the fastest. But Proche checks all the rest of the boxes to be a productive player at the next level.
A First-Team All-AAC selection in 2018, Proche is on track to repeat this honor again in 2019. He has shown clear year-to-year progression, both statistically and on film over the course of a ridiculously productive career at SMU, where, at the time I’m writing this (11/11/19), he has collected over 250 receptions and 3500 yards, and counting.
Proche has some of the best hands in the nation. His hand-eye coordination is just crazy, and he makes one-handed circus catches look easy. In an interview with the Pro Football Network from July 2019, Proche compared himself to Jarvis Landry of the Cleveland Browns. When I watch his film, I can see it. The top-end speed isn’t great, but Proche’s game is about his shiftiness, advanced route running ability, and amazing hands. Much like Landry’s.
This is a smart, hardworking player who strives to get better, and he’s a leader. He has a knack for making a big play when it’s needed, and he performs at a high level when the lights are the brightest. I would point to Proche’s performances against TCU and Memphis this year, and also what he did against Michigan and UCF in 2018. Not all those games were wins for the Mustangs, but the stage and level of competition didn’t matter to Proche. These traits cannot be taught. And as a kicker, he’s not afraid to get in there and block either.
Proche is a very interesting prospect who’s flying under the radar, though his draft stock is rising. I see him being a solid slot receiver for a pro team, though, he can also lineup on the boundary, but he will bring a strong, reliable presence over the middle. I’m projecting him to be selected in the middle rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft, and with the class of 2020 being as star-studded as it is from a dynasty perspective, Proche could very well be available in the third round of rookie drafts. He’ll be a steal.