Patriots ‘gushing’ over SMU wide receiver James Proche
James Proche has a place in this next story: The New England Patriots will likely use some of their assets on their wide receiver corps in the offseason. The unit — that features slot receiver Julian Edelman and 2019 first-round pick N’Keal Harry — isn’t what it once was.
If the Patriots don’t target help in free agency, the 2020 NFL Draft is their next step. It appears as if they are already scouting the position. At the Senior Bowl, they were caught “gushing” over SMU product James Proche.
“Keep this in the back of your mind: New England Patriots scouts were gushing over James Proche during today’s practice – I heard it firsthand. This doesn’t mean they are automatically drafting Proche, but he fits the bill for the type of receiver they love and have great success with.”
Proche dominated AAC competition in the last two seasons. While putting the Mustangs back in contention for a conference championship, he tallied 111 receptions for 1,225 yards and 15 touchdowns in 13 games. In the season before, he recorded 93 catches for 1,199 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Though Proche measures in at 6-foot, 190-pounds, he plays the part of a No. 1 receiver.
“Wicked hands,” Draft Network’s Benjamin Solak said of Proche. “Can stick a high-velocity ball in its tracks and make one-handed receptions outside of his frame. Effective catching at elevation, digging balls out of the dirty, flipping to backshoulder balls — his track, adjust, and snag is a delightful process to watch. Nifty athlete with quick feet and a smooth gear shift.”
In a stacked wide receiver draft, the Patriots likely won’t have to select a receiver in the first round for the second year in a row. If Proche is lingering around in the second round, don’t be surprised if New England bolsters their receiver corps by selecting him.
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