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Possible NFC East fits for Terrelle Pryor

6/15/2011

The most important thing, it appears, in trying to figure out where Terrelle Pryor ends up in the NFL is to dispense with the notion that he must be a quarterback -- especially right away. Drew Rosenhaus can make all of the Cam Newton comparisons he wants, but the people who've watched and analyzed Pryor say he just can't make NFL throws. Todd McShay writes that "the two most important areas for an NFL quarterback are football intelligence and accuracy, and Pryor is below-average in both areas. His footwork and mechanics are often sloppy and he doesn't always step up in the pocket when he should, which leads to him floating too many throws. Pryor also does not show the ability to read coverages effectively and is not close to where he needs to be mentally as a pro-style quarterback."

McShay's first conclusion is that Pryor would be better off transferring to another school and spending another year trying to translate his considerable athletic ability into better quarterbacking skills at the college level. But that's not what's going to happen. Pryor is going to enter the supplemental draft, and NFL teams are going to have to figure out where to take him, if at all. McShay's second conclusion is that Pryor needs to go to a team that's "confident he will accept a move to H-back or receiver, and do so with a good attitude. If not, he just isn't worth the time and effort that will be required to make him an NFL player."

Of our NFC East teams, the Redskins are the best fit for Pryor -- and not because they need a quarterback. Sure, if Mike and Kyle Shanahan see something they like in Pryor as a potential quarterback, it makes some sense to take him and work with him. But the reason the Redskins make more sense to me than any other team in the division is their need at receiver. Assuming McShay and other scouts are correct and Pryor's NFL future lies at a different position, the Redskins could be a good place for him to learn the position of wide receiver. They have a need there, and while they have guys who look like more legitimate starters at the position than he would, there's no one in Washington who's so great that Pryor would be blocked or have his playing time limited if he developed quickly. I think the Redskins offer two potential avenues for Pryor, including the more likely one, and if there's an NFC East team that might spend a mid-to-late-round supplemental draft pick on him, it's most likely Washington.

Pryor is the kind of athlete who has appealed in the past to the Cowboys (as well as the Raiders, but that's for someone else's blog). And Dallas could stand to add depth at receiver. But the Cowboys finally seem focused more on beefing up at less glamorous positions whose deficiencies have cost them games over the past couple of years than on piling up skill-position talent.

The Giants could use receiver help if Steve Smith's injury lingers. And if their scouts assign a round value to him and he's still there beyond that round, don't rule out the possibility of the value-obsessed Giants taking him. But I wouldn't bet on it. And the Eagles have supremely gifted athletes all over the field and probably don't need to bring in a project receiver who might prefer to be a quarterback.