Oakland Raiders' Terrelle Pryor-Al Davis' Last Pick
– Oct 11, 2011After serving a league-mandated five game suspension, Terrelle Pryor is finally on the practice field with his teammates. Pryor will forever carry the distinction of being Al Davis' final draft pick. And while many are expecting him to come in and have an immediate impact, he is more likely to be in a developmental role this year. He may appear in certain offensive sets, but the reality is he won't compete for a starting job until next season.
Having said that, there is much to look forward to with Al's last draft pick.
Pryor is an amazing athlete. I cannot emphasize enough how downright amazing his athletic skills are. A former two sport (basketball/football) athlete, Pryor is considered one of the most highly recruited high school athletes in the state of Pennsylvania. That's saying something for a state that produced such greats as Dan Marino, Fred Biletnikoff, Tom Clements and Jim Kelly (just to name a few in an otherwise endless list of athletes).
In his freshman year at The Ohio State University, he started after the third game and finished with a record of 8-1. That season, he also lined up as a receiver in certain offensive formations (remember this Raider family). He was also named Big Ten Freshman of the year by the coaches. At the start of his sophomore year he ran a 4.33 40 yard dash in a race with teammates making him the fastest player on the squad. It was also during his sophomore year that Pryor began to throw the football more and became more complete at the position. He went on to lead the Buckeyes over University of Oregon in the Rose Bowl and earned the honor of Rose Bowl MVP. Shortly after that, the wheels came off in an already much covered and discussed NCAA probe of Ohio State University where Pryor was discovered to have sold memorabilia in exchange for tattoos. Pryor went from being one of the top NFL prospects to virtually unknown as most teams, scouts and NFL owners turned their backs on him. But not Al Davis.
As Al's last pick in the supplemental draft, Pryor is everything that Al Davis loved and believed in when it came to football. He's big. At 6' 5" there is no denying that. He's wickedly fast. A 4.33 40yd? Almost Michael Vick fast. As a former basketball player, he is athletic. However, given his fall from grace, Pryor is now in search of redemption. The most endearing Al Davis trait-giving people a second chance. Looking at his size, speed and athleticism, Pryor is as a big as the Detroit Lions much heralded wide receiver Calvin "Megatron" Johnson. Think about that Nation. He's that big. He's that fast. Now he has a chance to put it all together and prove to his critics that he belongs.
Despite his many physical attributes, Pryor has much to learn about the NFL and not just the obvious (learning the playbook, and reading defenses) which take time, study, and practice. Pryor has never played under center as a QB. As minor as that sounds, it's something he will have to adjust to. The game is different that close to the line of scrimmage. He will also need to improve his footwork and passing. While he obviously can throw a football, timing routes and certain throws will require finesse and accuracy which he will have to develop as well.
Pryor has the skill-set to do it, but only if he has the time to develop. In this new age of the NFL where we all want things now, the concept of development is not widely held as a positive. But in this case, if we bring him along and allow Pryor to grow into the position, the sky is the limit.
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