Monday, August 22, 2011
Reaction to Pryor pick pours in
By Bill Williamson
There is a lot of reaction to Oakland’s decision to take former Ohio Sate quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the third round of the supplemental draft on Monday. It was the first time Oakland has taken a player in the supplemental draft since it began in 1977.
Pryor is a project who has blazing speed at 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, and could eventually play receiver. He has said he is open to playing other positions, but he would like to remain a quarterback. I wrote earlier Monday that Pryor fits Oakland’s profile, so his selection is not a surprise, yet I think taking him in the third round was too high.
Terrelle Pryor's speed would have made him among the fastest receivers at April's combine.
Let’s take a look at some other the reactions on Oakland’s selection of Pryor:
This is some of what Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. wrote in an Insider piece: Indications are Oakland is looking at Pryor more as a wide receiver than a quarterback in the NFL, and while that's an encouraging sign, given his deficiencies as a passer, the third round is still very early for a player who is a developmental project at wideout. Pryor lined up at receiver a few times at Ohio State, but there's a huge difference between getting by on athletic ability and knowing the position well enough to succeed against NFL defenders.
Mel Kiper, however, is more inspired by the pick and he thinks Pryor could successfully make a position switch. Here are some of his thoughts in an Insider piece: I have said for literally months that Pryor would be smart to consider a position switch to either wide receiver or tight end, and that if he was willing to make that move, his value could be far greater, even as a developmental prospect. Well, based on what John Clayton is reporting, that the Raiders are likely to have Pryor switch positions after taking him in Round 3 of the supplemental draft, there are reasons to believe Pryor can make the switch and become an impact player. All the jokes about Al Davis and 40 times aside, consider some factors. First, let's remember that this wasn't just a really good 40 time. At the NFL combine before the draft, Edmond Gates was the fastest wide receiver, and he checked in with a 4.37 40, a fantastic time. But Gates is also about 6-feet tall and a little more than 190 pounds. Pryor ran a 4.38 to a 4.41 based on which stopwatch you believe, but think about that: at six inches taller and almost 40 pounds heavier, he is showing the same speed as the fastest receiver at the combine. In fact, this kind of performance may well have been the story of Indy. Even the greatest of skeptics can't scoff at that kind of showing. Guys have jumped up draft boards for years based on this. If Pryor was in the conversation all along as a catcher of passes, and not a thrower, it's not inconceivable to think he could have been taken even higher.
I talked to Kevin Weidl of Scouts Inc. on Monday to get his thoughts. He said he could see Pryor develop into a Brad Smith-type player who can help in Wildcat situations. Weidl said he doesn’t think Pryor is necessarily a sure thing as a quarterback or as a receiver prospect. He said Pryor is inaccurate and unpolished as a passer and he looks tight as a route runner. But he understands the Raiders taking a chance on him because he fits what they want. “He was the Raiders’ guy and they jumped on him,” Weidl said. “It’s a little high, but they see something in him … Still, he has a long way to go.”