Ohio State Junior
Has good arm strength and a quick release. Shows good zip when he can step into his throws. Shows good touch at times on his deep passes, hitting receivers in stride for the vertical strike. Has good athleticism and mobility. Can move around the pocket and is able to nonchalantly sidestep pass rushers to buy himself more time. Can step up in the pocket and deliver throw over the middle. Is hard to bring down because of his size and strength and does a good job extending the play. Shows good balance and power as a runner and will break tackles as a runner outside the pocket. Shows good speed and burst when he is able to turn it upfield and run past defenders. Can make positive plays due to his athleticism even on broken plays.
Lacks accuracy and has sloppy mechanics and footwork. Doesn't show good footwork on his drops and throws too much off his back foot. Leads to a lot of high and sailing passes, and misses too many easy throws. Zip and touch can be inconsistent on intermediate throws due to sloppy footwork as well. Floats too many passes over the middle. Puts too much air on his deep ball at times and leads to overthrows. Struggles to reset his feet when on the move. Doesn't square his shoulders when he's throwing on the run, making him erratic when throwing outside the pocket. Needs to show a better feel for pressure. Has a tendency to hold onto the ball too long and it leads to him taking too many sacks. Tends to get happy feet when under pressure, and his decision making dips quite a bit. Needs to do a better job securing the ball when he's on the move or moving around the pocket, having a tendency to carry it like a loaf of bread. Struggles when asked to go to his second read and progressions. Lacks field vision and anticipation, despite his experience. Is too hesitant on his throws and reads and has a tendency to be late and struggles to lead his receivers on shorter and intermediate throws. Doesn't make good decisions and not a very cerebral guy. Has too much of a tendency to improvise at times, leading to some bone-headed mistakes. Takes too many chances and tends to trust his legs more than his arm when the chips are down.
Pryor came to Ohio State as the top recruit in the nation, and big things were expected of him as he started 10 games as a true freshman, taking over for Todd Boeckman early on. He had a nice career, and looked to be turning the corner as a passer over the latter half of his sophomore season in 2009. But he showed very little improvement this past year. For his career, he completed 60.9% of 783 pass attempts for 6177 yards, 57 TDs, and 26 INTs. This past year as a junior, he had 65.0-2772-27-11, the most productive year he had at Ohio State. He also rushed for 2164 yards (5.0 avg) and 17 touchdowns, as well as caught 3 passes for 24 yards and 2 TDs as well. Went 31-4 as a starter at Ohio State, including a 12-1 mark as a junior. Last December, news broke of him selling school memorabilia, which netted him a 5-game suspension before the start of the 2011 season, his prospective senior year. He also took discounts at a tattoo parlor, another NCAA violation. He was cited for three traffic violations over the course of his tenure, each time driving a different vehicle owned by a car dealer, although an early NCAA investigation indicated no impropriety. It was rumored that Pryor was also late for and missed team meetings and practices, and was allowed to operate under a different set of rules while in Columbus. After Jim Tressel's resignation in May, Pryor opted to enter the supplemental draft in June. Never declared a major while he was at Ohio State, but did earn Big Ten all-academic honors in 2009. He had surgery on a ligament in his right foot in January, an injury he suffered in the Sugar Bowl.
Pryor has a lot of issues going forward to compete at the NFL level. He has a talent level and skill set comparable to Cam Newton. LIke Newton, his footwork and mechanics are sloppy. But unlike Newton, Pryor doesn't have the excuse of having only played 1 full season of major college football. Pryor started over 35 games while at Ohio State, versus Newton's 13 at Auburn. So while you are a bit more willing to give Newton the benefit of the doubt in terms of his potential to improve, we've already seen Pryor improve little. He seemed to be turning a corner as a sophomore, but he regressed as a junior. And he really needed to come back strong with a good shortened senior campaign to prove the skeptics and doubters wrong about whether or not he can be a competent NFL starter and passer. But at this point, without that necessary year of development, the very best I think Terrelle Pryor can be is Vince Young. Like Young, he's going to struggle to be an accurate passer from the pocket. He's not accurate, doesn't make good decisions, and he has sloppy mechanics. But he can make plays with his legs, and like Young has the potential to do well in a vertical offense. If he can play on a team that has fast vertical receivers, a good running game, and a capable defense to keep them in games, then he has a chance to be somewhat successful. His ability to make plays with his legs will help make up somewhat for his lack of passing ability. But overall, it's hard to see Pryor making that progress. And certainly he's not ready to produce like that early on. He needs at least two years before you can really expect him to do much. Coming into the league as a supplemental pick, and sitting as a No. 3 will make his ability to improve and get the necessary hands-on work to improve difficult. He really needs a lot of hands-on management and work to improve his sloppy footwork and mechanics. And thus, while he has the potential to be VY-esque, I think it's much more likely his career mirrors that of Dennis Dixon. Which is early on when he plays, he flashes some skills in a single game here or there because he has a good supporting cast around him, but the minute you ask him to be the guy for an extended period he'll struggle like Dixon did at the beginning of this year. As far as moving him to a new position, that certainly is a possibilty. He has the size that you would like in a big, possession receiver, or as an undersized H-back. He's shown somethings on rare occasions when he's asked to catch the ball. He is athletic, strong, and fast enough to be an effective receiver and runner after the catch. The main issue is whether he'll be committed to a position and learning the ins and outs of route-running, reading coverages, and whether or not he has good enough hands. His potential is high as a receiver because of his physical tools, but he's a project. And I think he's probably more likely to be a quality receiver/competent starter like Matt Jones than any big time prospect. He's probably a guy that with some development, might be able to give you 25-35 catches per year on a consistent basis, with the potential to be a 50-catch guy if he's really committed.
The Falcons would need to look at Pryor as a WR/H-back hybrid. He's a project there, but he has potential worth developing. He's not giong to do much of anything as a rookie, since he's so raw. He could be used somewhat in wildcat packages and as a potential trick play guy in the redzone. But probably more than likely because of his inability to produce on special teams, he'll be inactive almost every week as a rookie. But if he's committed to learning his craft as a receiver, he might start to earn some playing time as a No. 4 receiver in his second year. But he's probably not going to do much until the Falcons move Michael Jenkins off the roster. Then he can slide into a No. 4 role in 2012, and then develop from there. But that's probably all he's going to be in his career, just because he's not as natural a receiver as other guys on the Falcons roster. He's just probably never going to be a reliable option in the passing game, and more of a novelty than actual key contributor.
Had Pryor declared for this past April's draft, I would have considered him as high as a possible late third/fourth round prospect. But in the supplemental draft, it's going to be harder for him to get reps and get up to speed as it would have been if he had been drafted in April, meaning his stock drops more to a sixth/seventh round in the supplemental draft. He's a long-term project there. As a receiver, I wouldn't use anything more than a seventh round pick on him because he's very raw, and there's no telling if he's committed at all to making the position switch. He was never going to be a first round pick even in the 2012 draft had he come back, but with a good senior year, he might have improved enough to merit a second round showing.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Arm Strength: 4.0
Decision Making: 2.0
Pocket Awareness: 2.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.