The Baltimore Ravens are unusually deep at the wide receiver position this year. In a low-volume passing offense that is striving for more balance but will stay true to their run-first roots, roster spots will be limited. They will likely only carry five or six players at the position into the season and most certainly not seven.
Second-year receiver James Proche II must have had that eventuality in mind while training in the offseason and when he arrived at training camp. According to multiple reports from practice, he is already looking like one of the most improved players.
Baltimore Beatdown’s own Kyle Barber went as far as to dub Proche the ‘Player of Practice’ on Thursday after he witnessed the 2020 sixth-round pick haul in multiple touchdowns, including an impressive diving catch in the end zone.
Just don’t see a way Proche doesn’t end up on the active roster. pic.twitter.com/22Y8sb5cFu— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) July 29, 2021
“That’s what he does, he just does everything right,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a serious competitor. We were in the weight room this morning and he was in there with us. Some of the coaches get in there early and he was right there with a lot of other guys. He works all the time. He works within the play, too. He finishes every play and you saw that today.”
Proche was a prolific producer in college for the SMU Mustangs where he dominated, making highlight-reel plays both in the slot and split out wide. He was only targeted three times in 14 games as a rookie and recorded just one reception for 14 yards. Most of his action came as the team’s primary punt returner until those responsibilities were given to Devin Duvernay in the final two weeks of the regular season.
He appears determined to not only make the team but potentially carve out a role for himself on offense. If he keeps stacking good practices like he’s been doing, putting in the extra work off the field, and make the same kind of plays when pads come on as well as during the preseason, both of those goals could very well come to fruition.