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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Blake Proehl

  • The Draft Network
  • January 30, 2021
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Blake Proehl is the son of former NFL wide receiver and coach Ricky Proehl. His older brother, Austin, played his college football at UNC and was a seventh-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills. Blake played in the slot in 2018 for East Carolina, but primarily aligned out wide in 2019 and 2020. At the next level, I believe Proehl is best suited to play from the slot due to his lack of functional strength and threat as a vertical receiver. Proehl is a detailed and fluid route-runner with excellent hands. With that said, he doesn’t have dynamic separation quickness, long speed, vertical receiving skills, or the ability to create after the catch. If he gets the chance to play in a West Coast offense with a rhythm-based quarterback, Proehl can function well, but asking him to run elongated routes and separate down the field doesn’t bode well for his skill set. Special teams and becoming an elite route-runner from the slot in the right situation is his best chance to carve out a meaningful role at the next level. 

Ideal Role: Slot receiver.

Scheme Fit: West Coast.


Written by: Joe Marino 

Games watched: SMU (2020), Tulane (2020), UCF (2020) 

Best Game Studied: Tulane (2020) 

Worst Game Studied: UCF (2020) 

Route Running: Proehl runs short and intermediate routes with precision. He does well to sink his hips and snap his head around to find the football out of breaks. He can uncover quickly and does well to sell breaks.

Hands: Proehl can extend his arms away from his body and secure it. He is a natural hands catcher that tightly squeezes the ball. He doesn’t trap and guide it into his frame. He had just two drops in 194 career targets. 

Separation: Proehl is a fluid and detailed route-runner but he only has average burst and separation quickness. He cleanly gets in and out of breaks but his ability to really gain ground and run away from coverage is modest. If paired with a quarterback and system that functions with precise timing, Proehl will be an asset—but if he’s asked to run elongated routes, separation will be a challenge. 

Run After Catch: Proehl is competitive and decisive to work up the field and get the available yards. With that said, he isn’t overly dynamic or creative with the ball in his hands. He doesn’t have the speed to break pursuit angles or the play strength to break tackles and gain yardage after contact. 

Ball Skills: Proehl tracks the ball well and makes good adjustments with the ability to extend for the football. He does well to not tip the ball’s arrival with early hands. With that said, he isn’t an alpha at the catch point and lacks the functional strength to consistently position himself to win in contested situations. 

Football IQ: Proehl executes with close attention to detail and it’s apparent he is from a family of receivers and his dad has coached the position in the NFL. Catching the football and running routes is easy for Proehl, almost to the point where he’s robotic. He understands his role as a blocker and plays with good timing. 

Release Package: Proehl uses his hands and angles during his release to press coverage. With that said, he can stay in the same vicinity for too long and invite contact while lacking the functional strength to consistently clear jams. He has some gather in his initial steps that can delay his acceleration off the line. 

Versatility: Interestingly enough, Proehl was mostly featured in the slot early in his days at East Carolina but over the last two seasons, he primarily played out wide. In the NFL, he probably has to play in the slot due to his lean frame and modest functional strength. He isn’t much of a threat down the field or dynamic after the catch. 

Competitive Toughness: Proehl is more of a technician than an alpha but he competes. He is a willing blocker and is never passive. Overall, he’s more of a finesse player that isn’t going to impress in the physical aspects of the position. 

Big-Play Ability: Proehl doesn’t have the long speed or burst to truly profile as a vertical threat that can take the top off the defense or create dynamic plays after the catch. He’s a timing and rhythm-based receiver that is more of a “keep things on schedule” option. 

Prospect Comparison: Walt Powell (2014 NFL Draft, Arizona Cardinals) 


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Joe Marino: 65/100

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