Pryor a developmental quarterback
Amid allegations of further improprieties, former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor announced that he’s going to pass on his senior season. But the move shouldn’t come as a surprise since Pryor’s head coach, Jim Tressel, recently resigned.
Had Pryor stayed at Ohio State, he would have sat out the first five games of the 2011 season. So the events of the past six months basically forced his hand.
Since the annual NFL draft has taken place, Pryor must look at other options if he wants football in his future.
WHERE WILL HE PLAY?
The highly touted quarterback has four choices, but only one of them really makes sense.
Pryor’s five-game suspension for accepting improper benefits and selling memorabilia would go with him to another Division I school should he decide to enroll elsewhere since it was an NCAA-imposed suspension. Plus, he would have to sit out the season due to transfer rules. Unless he went NAIA or, maybe Division II or III. So, it would be a huge upset if he chose that route.
The likely scenario is for Pryor to make himself available for the NFL supplemental draft. Other choices include playing in the Canadian Football League or United Football League.
NOT A HIGH-RISER; NEEDS WORK
One high-level pro personnel source believes Pryor would have been a fourth- or fifth-round pick had he entered April’s NFL draft.
An NFL spokesman told FOXSports.com that the league has not scheduled a supplemental draft. But a date will likely be set if Pryor and any of his suspended Ohio State teammates apply.
The supplemental draft would likely be held in mid-July. The latest it could be scheduled is seven days before the opening of the first NFL training camp, the dates of which are uncertain because of the league’s player lockout.
The NFL is allowed to hold a supplemental draft even during a lockout under rules of the previous collective-bargaining agreement, the league spokesman said.
The reason Pryor isn’t considered a big-time prospect is he hasn’t performed as well as his statistics indicate.
While he posted a career 60.1 completion percentage, Pryor played in a low-risk passing game. In fact, he threw the ball only 30 times or more once during the 2010 season. Pryor also had the benefit of a strong running game behind him. The team finished 14th overall last year in rushing yards per game with 220.1, so he clearly wasn’t asked to carry the offense.
According to a scouting source, Pryor, who has drawn the comparison to quarterback Vince Young, has good size (he’s 6-feet-6, 230 pounds) and moves well, but he is a raw passer who needs work with footwork and passing mechanics.
“He needs to wear the buyer-beware tag because he needs a lot of coaching and further development as a passer. He still likes to run a lot,” the college scouting source said.
Pryor attempted 783 passes during his three years as a starter; he ran the ball 436 times.
A scouting source said he still needs to do more film work on Pryor to determine if his off-field issues should be taken into account when evaluating him, but Pryor likely won’t be ready to start a game in at least the first two years of his pro career.
“You need to get him with a team willing to be very patient," the scouting source said. "Heck, I’m not so sure he’s even a quarterback at this point. He’s far away from being able to handle what’s going to come at him at our level. You don’t really see him being asked to make a lot of tough throws. That won’t be the case going forward.”
NFL Films’ Greg Cosell had even stronger criticism about Pryor’s skill set after watching him.
“Overall long way to go before any chance of being NFL QB. In 2 games I evaluated showed no attributes that transition to NFL,” Cosell said via his Twitter account.
WHICH TEAMS MIGHT BE INTERESTED?
Because the NFL draft already has taken place, it’s now easier to determine which teams might be looking for a developmental quarterback.
Teams that could potentially have interest in Pryor based on their need for a developmental quarterback:
Buffalo Bills: While journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick played fairly well last season, he’s in the final year of his contract. It also remains to be seen if Levi Brown, whom the Bills selected in the seventh round of last year’s draft, has a future with the team. And keep in mind, head coach Chan Gailey likes to develop mobile quarterbacks. He did a nice job of developing former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart.
Miami Dolphins: Starter Chad Henne is in the final year of his rookie deal, and Miami doesn’t have a true developmental quarterback on its roster. Tom Brandstater, who was signed as a free agent last season, was originally selected in the sixth round of the 2009 draft by the Denver Broncos.
Oakland Raiders: Both quarterbacks on the roster — Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller — are 29. And owner Al Davis has always been willing to take risks on players.
Seattle Seahawks: They surprisingly didn’t select a quarterback in this year’s draft. And veteran Charlie Whitehurst, who turns 29 in August, is the only quarterback under contract for this season.
Washington Redskins: The Redskins don’t have a true developmental quarterback on their roster, so head coach/executive vice president Mike Shanahan could take a chance on Pryor, since veteran Donovan McNabb is not expected to be on the season-opening roster.