Blind Tape Test With Chris Trulove: Thoughts on Ryan Newsome, James Proche & John Humphrey

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Former Denver Broncos director of pro-scouting and TFB contributor, Chris Trulove, was kind enough to offer up some thoughts on three 2015 Texas wide receivers.

Oklahoma has offers out to Ryan Newsome and John Humphrey, but we also asked Chris to look at James Proche because he happens to be a TFB favorite. We should note that Chris is not privy to any recruiting/offer information about these athletes prior to his evaluations. He simply offers up his thoughts based strictly on the film available.

The players are listed in the order that Chris ranked them, however he really seemed to like all three and the separation between them was fairly minimal.

Ryan Newsome – VIDEO

‘Short WR with excellent acceleration and speed. Great burst off the line of scrimmage and great finishing speed. Eats up DB cushion in a hurry. Tracks the ball in flight well and has very good body control to adjust to the incoming pass. Can contort his body in the air and uses reach and pluck hands to snatch the high ball. Dangerous runner after the catch with a combination of vision, instincts, and desire. Not the strongest player, but has good toughness and deceiving effort to gain yards after contact.

Willing blocker who flashes a lack of fear to give up his body for the cause. Sees spot action as a wildcat QB and can get the edge to take it the distance. Flashes throwing arm strength and accuracy to be a trick play weapon. Dangerous punt returner. Reads the ball well and fields it cleanly. Has instinctive patience and change of pace to set up lanes and hit seams. Has good agility and balance to make sharp cuts, but succeeds more on speed than elusiveness. Good collegiate power conference 3rd / 4th receiver with high-end punt returner value.’

James Proche – VIDEO

‘Strong WR in a Greg Jennings like muscular build. Has good acceleration off the line with good, but not great top end speed. Does have very good foot quickness and sinks his hips well for sharp breaks in and out of cuts. Excellent reach and pluck hands with good arm length. Tracks the ball in flight very well and often snatches bad balls away from defenders. Very good high pointing the ball in a crowd. Catches the over the shoulder ball well down the sideline and comes back for the ball well on hitches and curls. After the catch, he has good body balance and strong legs to bounce off and break tackles.

Not one to dazzle with speed and elusiveness but is strong, agile, and very reliable making plays on the ball for his QB. Flashes punt return ability, but more likely a reliable fielder than a big play guy. Has NFL caliber hands and instincts with only average top end speed. Good power conference slot receiver candidate who disguises routes well and always comes down with the ball.’

John Humphrey – VIDEO

‘Slender athlete and long strider with good speed and athleticism. Smooth athlete that covers a lot of ground with ease. Looks to have good hands and ball tracking skills with nice length. Has not run a lot of complex routes, but shows the ability to make short and long range catches. More of a downfield strider better suited on the outside than in the slot. Can stretch the field and is a nice long target on drags and slants. Good instincts with the ball in his hands and has deceiving start-and-stop ability to make people miss. Not a strong player, but has good toughness.

Needs to add bulk over time and develop his route tree with repetition to make a large impact. Flashes nice instincts, range, and ball timing when aligned on defense as a DC. Could move to that position if the need arose. Has the length and athleticism to play at the collegiate level, but will still need time to physically develop. Like the upside.’

TFB Note: We absolutely love Humphrey’s ability to move side-to-side. In our estimation, of all the receivers OU is recruiting, his stop-and-cut is a step above the others. Those elastic hips make it no surprise that he really could play CB.

  • Daryl

    Seemime they are pretty even in his eyes. What one guy does really well another guys doesn’t. We me like we can go wrong here with any of them. Though I like the PR. And big play ability of Newsome. Seems like that is something we don’t have as much of right now.

    Shepherd is great and gets open and makes plays but hasn’t shown that Big play ability very consistently yet.

    • Jim

      Shepard hasn’t displayed the big play ability very consistently yet…….well don’t tell that to K-State, or Iowa St, or West Virginia, or Tulsa, or Notre Dame, or Kansas, or Oklahoma State, or Alabama. Unless you have an extremely high definition for a “big play”. Add in the fact that he’s been our leading receiver in at least half a dozen games during his freshman and sophomore season, and I’d say he’s playing pretty big.

      The only reason he didn’t show even more big play ability than he already has is b/c he was surrounded by Kenny Stills, Justin Brown, and Jalen Saunders the past 2 years.

      • Boom

        In the Bama game on 1st down, we pitched to Shepherd and he should’ve had a 3 or 4 yard loss but he made a huge play and made 7 or 8. Incredible as far as big plays go. Not worried about this guy.

      • Eddie and Amber

        Also in the games not mentioned, QB play was lacking. Shepard is a stud and an absolute leader of that WR corp.

      • Super Keith

        Shepard is a workhorse. I don’t know that he’s going to be the guy that will be making “big plays*” in every game, but he makes plenty of big plays that go for short to medium yards. More importantly, he’s got great hands and can take a pounding.

        In my eyes, Shepard is the most valuable piece to this year’s offense. He obviously has great timing with TK, he blocks like a truck, and he’s a team leader. If we are to have better success offensively this year, it’s going to have to be through the hands/work of Shepard.

        *I think people only see a play being “big” when it’s long yardage, or goes for a score. There are so many crucial plays that are big, and Shepard has made many of those already.

        • Jim

          SK, my response only included “big” plays that went a minimum of 22 yards, regardless of situation. I did not even bother including “clutch” plays that could also be included as ‘big’. We’ve seen him make numerous critical 1st down catches as well.
          He’s put up fantastic numbers through his first 2 seasons. And the only reasons he’s not even closer to Broyles’ numbers are b/c of the Stills/Brown/Saunders combo in 2012 and inconsistent QB play in 2013. He could easily wind up as the 2nd leading receiver in OU history by the time he’s done.

          • Super Keith

            Jim, I apologize if my reply came across negative. I was (in a round about way) agreeing with you. I think we are on the same page and recognize the value of Shep.

          • Daryl

            I am not saying that Shepherd isn’t amazing. He is! He is our leader. I am not saying that he doesn’t make clutch plays! He does! When we need a play he makes it.

            When I say big play I am thinking yardage and making something from nothing. I agree that QB play hasn’t been stellar, and that he has had guys infront. All I am saying is when i think Shepherd I think we need a first or we need a TD find Shepherd. When I think of guys like broyles and Saunders I think of guys that every time they touched the ball you thought it could go the distance. That is the difference.

            I didn’t mean that anything negative against Shepherd at all. He is clutch. I have watched him since HS and I knew he was a D1 superstar all the way. I knew he was better than Sanders Jr. in HS and would have a better career for sure.

            Not posting this to argue with you just trying to clarify my thought.

    • Indy_sooner

      So much wrong in this. The dude was a beast… 51 receptions with 7 TDs as a slot receiver splitting carries with Jalen. Even then, missed a few games with injuries.

    • Hmmm……seems like all Shepherd does is make big plays over and over again from what I’ve seen. He looks just like his daddy when he played here. And the bigger the game and the tougher the opponent, the more dominant he plays. I’m not sure who you’re watching but he blows up just about every game. Alabama didn’t want anymore of him that’s for sure.

  • ToatsMcGoats

    Great job. Glad to see another tape test! You guys go above and beyond everyday!

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    Sounds like we’ll be good with any one of them, or a combination.

  • Zack

    Great stuff I like these evaluations. I’m hopeful they get both Humphrey and newsome they would be deadly with quick.

  • Stephen

    Any news on a Podcast from you guys?

    • Jordan Esco

      One of those things that is in the works. My goal is to have something in place prior to the season starting, but I can’t make any promises at this point unfortunately.

      • ToatsMcGoats

        What about the format? I remember you guys saying you were working to change that as well. Is that something that is still in the works?

        • Jordan Esco

          It is.

      • Stephen

        Just checking in, it is a big summer for new things.

  • Super Keith

    Admittedly, I haven’t spent much time watching film on Proche, so I’ll leave him out of this comment for that reason. I think Newsome is the fastest/quickest player I’ve seen out of Texas this year, but Humphrey seems to be the better all around athlete. I would be overjoyed to have either in the offense.

    • Zack

      Proche reminds me of broyles. His junior highlights
      He looks like the type of guy who will be a safety blanket like broyles and can run option routes and get separation without elite speed.

      • Super Keith

        Yeah, I need to spend some more time watching his film*.

        *I kinda chuckle to myself when I say these kinds of things, because I have absolutely no reason to really watch anyone’s film, but it’s in my blood. I have the “I need football year-round” sickness.

      • Kody K.

        Very good point. He is definitely one of those players who can create space without having great speed.

  • Kody K.

    Newsome reminds me of Quizz Rodgers who actually played running back at Oregon State and was a great receiver as well. Humphrey sure seems to imitate Jalen in many ways–no wasted steps and takes good angles knowing right where he wants to go.

  • Ed Cotter

    Man, good evaluations guys. Thanks for posting. Really appreciate Trulove’s honesty in his evals.