The Ravens’ current WR, Marquise Brown, and former Ravens free agent WRs have been the talk of the town, or should I say the nest. The amount of noise Brown, Dez Bryant, and Willie Snead have made lately toward Greg Roman and this Ravens offense has caused quite the stir.
What people may be missing out on is the fact that Snead and Bryant’s production won’t even be a memory by October. Huh, you say?
I say that because there are two guys on the roster who don’t have a mouth on them but believe in Lamar Jackson, his ability and own. Who am I speaking of? Not Miles Boykin. I am still on the Boykin train and believe the addition of Ravens’ new Pass-game coordinator Keith Williams and WR Coach Tee Martin will elevate his game.
However, when it comes to significant boosts in production, thanks to Willie Snead’s departure, I am a huge fan of James Proche and Devin Duvernay.
We saw flashes of Duvernay’s ability here.
So Devin Duvernay is FAST fast
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) October 11, 2020
Lamar, in an interview, once asked reporters not to speak on Duvernay’s ability because he did not want it revealed just yet. Lamar thought of him as a secret weapon. Imagine that weapon being fully unleashed in the same fashion Mecole Hardman was unleashed on the league for the Kansas City Chiefs. Hardman was not even the fastest guy on the team, but he proved extremely dangerous if defenses spent too much time worrying about Tyreek Hill. I know GPS is soon going to be the new speed tracker, but I wanted to place both his 40-time and his top speed GPS MPH.
40: 4.39 (Combine)
MPH: 21.48 (according to Next-Gen stats)
That speed was recorded during a 93-yard kickoff return TD in week three against the Kansas City Chiefs. It probably isn’t remembered by many because most Ravens fans have blocked out the beatdown given after those points were scored. I mentioned it so that we could all remember the speed, but I apologize for bringing up such a terrible memory.
DEVIN DUVERNAY. 93 YARDS TO THE HOUSE. #RavensFlock
— NFL (@NFL) September 29, 2020
Jake Vogel of the Russel Street report referred to as the former Longhorn as a “Bowlingball with great hands.” I see the guy as someone who can do plenty after the catch and can separate. We saw flashes of how great he can be. I hope Coach Williams can feature him a great deal in the passing game.
Ok, “Doov” was not that big of a reach when we’re looking at players to breakout. He was clearly low-hanging fruit. I am about to show you something that only SMU Alumni and fans are aware of. James Proche is a guy that will exceed Willie Snead’s production and bring you memories of Derrick Mason when he steps on the field. I felt the need to chop up some film for him, but before I show you that, here is his production for 2020 on the Ravens offense.
James Proche’s first career catch came in a big situation. On a key third down, he shook his defender and picked up 14 yards as well as a first down
It would end up being his only catch of the 2020 season pic.twitter.com/kqPn7LIBal
— Kevin Oestreicher (@koestreicher34) February 1, 2021
He had a whopping 3-targets, one reception, 14-yards…for the entire 2020 season! This is a clear injustice to what will be the Ravens’ 2021 season chain-mover. I blame the addition of Dez Bryant for this lack of reps. Sometimes all that glitter ain’t gold, folks. Yes, Dez’s videos of him clowning backups and no-names are nice on Instagram, but Proche is a guy who could’ve done that and more on the field if given the opportunities. The other person to blame here may be Greg Roman with his basic routes in the Ravens scheme. I have been arguing with everyone about how great G-Ro is and how he should keep his job. However, that piece of his offense exactly why Williams and Martin are in the building. Hopefully, they can give a boost to the air attack. Anyway, back to Proche. Here are some highlights of the young man getting his grind on at the collegiate level. Highlights being the keyword. I am still going to look at a couple of games in his 2019 college season just to show you what he is capable of.
James Proche: The most targeted WR in college football – and for good reasonpic.twitter.com/lZiuoNqoVi
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 3, 2020
I found so much in one game on this guy that I had to pick and choose. First, with Baltimore so focused on the ground game, I want to show you what he can do to the guy in front of him.
Currently, Ravens fans have been frustrated with the clear drops by receivers when the opportunity presents. This won’t be much of a problem with Proche. He has very strong hands.
What the 2nd year Raven did for SMU was special. His ability to make something happen on the simplest of plays could make what Lamar Jackson already does with the short passing game flourish to even higher heights. Check out what he’s able to do on a bubble screen.
We all know how the Ravens’ signal-caller is great in between the hashes. Proche can find space open deep.
Throws outside the hashes are what the Ravens offense needs to tune-up. This guy has those type of catches in his portfolio as well. I want you to focus on three things here. First, look at the route. He sees the defender and doesn’t just go meet him; he cuts short of him and creates the space. There’s no hesitation. It’s just business and confidence. The second thing, which is clear as day, is the ball is not perfect, but Proche locates it and adjusts to make the catch. Finally, is the finish. Baltimore needs a tough YAC guy. While this former Mustang is no Anquan Boldin, he has some inner beast in him.
This, by far, is the most fun I have had watching tape on a player. He just understands what he’s working with QB-wise and adjusts his game. We’ll end with this one. Just know if John Harbaugh has the level of confidence in the receiver that this tape displays, the team may not even bother with a first-round WR in this year’s draft.