Terrelle Pryor has become somewhat of an enigma… Coming out of high school he was the first player in Pennsylvania history to rush for 4,000 yards and throw for 4,000 yards. He led his team to the Pennsylvania state championship and set a state season record scoring 860 points. The sky was the limit for Pryor with scholarship offers coming from all over the country. While locals thought he would go to Pitt or Penn State, Pryor could not resist the big time allure of Ohio State and decided to take his talent across the three rivers into Ohio.
As a freshman he led Ohio State to an 8-1 record, his only loss coming against the school he had left at the alter, Penn State. He reportedly ran a 4.33 forty, before his sophomore season in a timed race against several of his teammates. He went on to lead the Buckeyes to a Big Ten Championship, and earn the 2010 Rose Bowl MVP trophy after leading Ohio State to a 26-17 victory over Oregon. That’s when things began to unravel for Pryor.
In every BCS college across the country there is an element outside the locker-room waiting to pounce on young impressionable athletes. Money, cars, women are always available when unscrupulous vultures wish to have the biggest trophy at the party. This has been going on forever in one form or another and the NCAA will do nothing real about it because, after all, the NCAA is the biggest greedy vulture of them all, but that is another tale. Pryor basically got caught. His glamour was a little too obvious to fly under the radar and he ended up taking his coach and his school down with him.
The carnage is well documented and the larger question is whether and/or where the Dolphins should pick Pryor in the supplemental draft. Here are his passing stats…
It is well known Pryor has the ability to scramble and take off down the field and his rushing stats play little in determining his potential as an NFL QB, therefore they are not relevant in this assessment.
His passing numbers are excellent and would indicate he is not prone to making poor decisions with the football. On film, he has shown he can set up quickly and get rid of the ball on quick hitting passes. He has the arm strength to make every NFL throw but his footwork and mechanics are still a work in progress. In his junior year he became more patient and started showing some ability to go through progressions and find receivers. He does a good job of keeping his head up and eyes downfield when scrambling and can be an accurate thrower on the move. His throwing motion is somewhat long but his delivery is very similar to Cam Newton and is not as much of a liability as some scouting reports have indicated.
There are signs Pryor has the ability to read defenses, look off defenders and find secondary targets but he was rarely called upon to use these skills. He often looked to make plays with his feet when finding his primary target covered. In college, his athletic skills were mostly superior to his competition and he took advantage of those skills, in the pros that will be a recipe for disaster. Given that he chose the path to easy money and he did not use the opportunity to hone his NFL caliber skills, there are natural questions as to whether he could handle an NFL contract.
Had Pryor remained out of trouble and finished his career at Ohio State there is little doubt he would have entered the NFL as a mid to low first round draft choice. The reports that he should come into the league as a WR are completely ridiculous and either obvious stupidity or a blatant smoke screen. Pryor will be an NFL QB there is no doubt…
It is this writer’s opinion Pryor will not make it out of the second round. The 5 game suspension is a meaningless slap on the wrist. This season should be treated as Pryor’s senior year in college and he should spend it learning the pro game. The team that picks him will essentially be getting next year’s pick a year early and be given the opportunity to groom the young man for an extra year. I believe the Miami Dolphins should use a second round tender on Pryor. QB is the highest valued position on the field, even if Chad Henne were to have a breakout season Pryor’s value would only rise and he would become prime trade bait.
I’m sure there will be a lot of criticism for this assessment, bring it on!