Heading into the NFL Supplemental Draft on Monday, Terrell Pryor had no idea who or when he would be drafted. A quarterback for a winning, top end school like Ohio State, Pryor dazzled at times in college but many secretly (or not so secretly) wonder if he can cut it in the NFL behind center. Scouts and experts alike seem to think Pryor would be a better fit a wideout.
What isn't in question, however, is his athletic ability as he ran a 4.36 in his pro-day workout before the draft.
So, what we got here in summary, is a 6-5 person that can run a 4.36 in the 40 who plays quarterback but translates best at wideout at the next level. With this info before us, is it really a shock that the Oakland Raiders picked him up with a third round pick? Not really as the Al Davis MO is to draft fast, big guys and be damned if they can actually do what you want them to do.
"We all know how Al Davis likes big players who can run and Terrelle brings a dimension of size and speed that's unique to the quarterback position," Pryors agent, Drew Rosenhaus said. "The Raiders are a good fit for him because they have had an unsettled quarterback situation for a number of years and have worked in a number of different players. Any young quarterback would like the opportunity to go there and compete and be the guy."
Following in the mold of the Raiders no. 1 pick in 2007, JaMarcus Russell, Pryor is the latest in an attempt to find a franchise quarterback. He's also joins one of the fastest teams in the NFL as, like what was said by Rosenhaus, Davis and the Raiders likes them big and fast in Oakland. They have drafted the player with the fastest 40 time in each of the last three drafts.
Pryor, who threw for 2,772 yards and 27 touchdowns with 11 interceptions in his junior season and added 754 yards and four scores on the ground, has landed in what could be the best possible place for him to show he can be a quarterback. With no current Raider QB signed through this season, he could take the reigns as early as next year should he show the Raiders what his former teammate and current Oakland cornerback Chimdi Chekwa knows he's capable of.
"He was a guy who can make the throws on the football field," Chekwa said. "He also has that threat of scrambling and running. When we needed a big play in college, he made that play. When we went against him in practice, first-team offense versus first-team defense, we had to spy him, do different things. He makes you have to account for the quarterback running."
Despite his troubles in the past and his five game suspension heading into this season, Pryor has the chance to show what he can do behind center, a prospect he wasn't sure he was going to get. It's up to him to capitalize on it and prove to everyone he belongs in the NFL.
"I just wasn't sure, especially with the five-game suspension," Pryor told the NFL Network after the Raiders picked him in the third round. "I had a lot of odds against me, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to play for the Raiders – one of my favorite teams as well."
Photo credit – AP