Colt Scout: WR Ricky Proehl

With slot receiver Brandon Stokely trying to bounce back from his second injury of the season, the Colts took a look at Ricky Proehl, who is in his 17th season as an NFL pro. Jerry Langton tells you more about Proehl and how he would fit with the Colts.

Ricky Proehl
WR, Wake Forest

Numbers: 6'0 (6000) / 189 pounds / 4.75 forty-time

2006 stats: 28-441-4 with Carolina

2005 stats: 34-497-0 with Carolina

NFL Experience: 17th year in the NFL

The player: While I realize that Proehl was born just before the "Summer of Love" (1968) and that he was drafted when the No. 1 hit was by someone called Bell Biv Devoe, I wouldn't dismiss him too quickly. His age is something that would normally call for a veto, but Proehl is a bit of a freak of nature. Never fast, big or strong, he's managed to catch 666 passes in the NFL for more than 450 first downs and 54 touchdowns and he's also played heroically in the playoffs and appeared in three Super Bowls. He does it with great hands, Steve Largent-esque concentration and an otherworldly elusiveness that gets him open for the catch and nets him a surprising amount of yardage afterwards. Of course, at his advanced age, you kind of have to wonder what he's got left. Well, he was the Panthers' second-leading receiver last year after being dragged out of retirement -- despite not being a starter and the presence of younger, faster stronger guys on the roster like Keary Colbert, Drew Carter and Rod Gardner. It's entirely possible that time has passed Proehl by, but I'd think twice before betting against the kid from the Bronx.

How he fits: The Colts offense works best when Brandon Stokley is coming out of motion and/or the slot. Unfortunately, though, Stokley misses lots of plays and whole games because his fearlessness and slight frame get him injured frequently. Although they have some potential as players, reserves Aaron Moorehead and John Standeford have not come close to indicating they could serve as adequate replacements yet. Terrence Wilkins has some ability as a slot guy, but he's even more frail than Stokley. So if the wily Proehl has anything left, he could use his uncanny ability to get open to help move the chains for the Colts perhaps even better than those other guys. He wouldn't pull off any of Stokely's almost-easy-looking 50-yarders, but he could get those precious few yards on third down.

Reminds me of: There's no real analog for Proehl. If you don't know who he is, you need to find out.

Photo: Getty Images/Doug Benc

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