Ex-NFL personnel director: Pryor sharp
It may not be enough to earn Terrelle Pryor the first-round status predicted by agent Drew Rosenhaus, but after working with Pryor for two days in preparation for interview sessions preceding the supplemental draft, former NFL personnel director Ken Herock gave the erstwhile Ohio State quarterback his seal of approval.
"I was impressed, I really was," said Herock, who after his retirement from the NFL as a longtime personnel expert founded ProPrep, a service that advises players on what to expect in interviews by scouts. "He's a sharp guy. He was impressive in terms of football knowledge, putting things up on the blackboard, and he was very straightforward about things. He didn't hold anything back."
Herock does not rehearse players for the interviews, but in one-on-one sessions with prospects, counsels them about meetings with club executives. The bulk of his work occurs in the weeks preceding the annual February combine workouts.
The two men conversed over dinner on Wednesday evening and then had a session for several hours on Thursday.
It is expected that NFL talent evaluators will closely investigate the circumstances under which Pryor allegedly received benefits that violated NCAA regulations, and which prompted him to leave school two weeks ago. Pryor, 22, is expected to apply for entry into the NFL's supplemental draft. The special-cases lottery has yet to be scheduled, but normally is held in July, about 10 days before camps open.
Any team conducting its due diligence on Pryor is almost certainly going to want to meet with him in advance of the supplemental draft.
Herock said Pryor was "really knowledgeable" about football concepts -- things as simple as naming the teams in the NFL's eight divisions (Herock: "You'd be surprised how many guys struggle with that.") to more complex subjects -- and about non-football issues as well.
"He's attentive and open," Herock said. "A good listener, but not afraid, either, to offer his read on things."
Despite his long career in evaluating players physically, Herock generally does not participate in on-field workouts. He did, though, observe Pryor's Thursday session with a group of Rosenhaus clients who are skill-position players. And he was very impressed, Herock said, with the throwing session supervised by former Cincinnati quarterback Ken Anderson.
The Sports Xchange reported Friday that Anderson, who retired as a coach following the 2009 season, was a candidate to work with Pryor.
"From what I saw," Herock said, "(Pryor) has a nice, tight release and delivery. The ball comes off his hand well, and he was accurate. I'm not into (assessing) where a guy will be picked anymore, and the supplemental (draft) is a little different thing, for sure. But I think, if people have a chance to work him out, they'll be surprised."
In three seasons at Ohio State, Pryor completed 477 of 783 passes for 6,177 yards, with 57 touchdown passes and 26 interceptions. He also rushed 436 times for 2,164 yards and 17 touchdowns.
The early consensus on Pryor is that he will be a middle-round choice at best in the supplemental draft, but Rosenhaus suggested last week his client will be chosen in the first round. No quarterback has been taken in the supplemental draft since 1992, when the New York Giants chose Dave Brown in the first round.
Len Pasquarelli is a Senior NFL Writer for The Sports Xchange. He has covered the NFL for 33 years and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee. His NFL coverage earned recognition as the winner of the McCann Award for distinguished reporting in 2008.