Terrelle Pryor at the NFL Level

OTC fans, we will be back to writing our 10 page long rants about every minute detail of every sport soon, but due to some busy times here, we are just going to keep it short and sweet for a bit before returning to our ranting and raving selves. Enjoy.

Once upon a time, no one wondered if Terrelle Pryor would change the landscape of college football. It was a question of how, and how drastically. Three years later, we foudn out that the guy who was all those things was actually named Cam Newton. Cam was the #1 pick, the charismatic QB with a fireworks show of a smile and every physical gift imaginable> Now it turns out that they both have NCAA allegation issues. With the recent news that Terrelle Pryor will be leaving school, and likely eventually entering the Supplemental Draft, it is a time to look forward to his career in the NFL, and back on his football skills on college. I really could not care less about his NCAA allegations, so to hell with them, time to focus on football. What will he be in the NFL? Will he be any good? Who could use him? Where does he go from here? Let’s take a brief look.

After the Ohio State-Texas Fiesta Bowl, which was truly a fantastic game, we thought there was some hope that he could end up a QB at the highest level. After the Rose Bowl vs. Oregon, we though he had finally figured it out. His passing was crisp, his reads were good, and he picked apart the Ducks with ruthless efficiency. After this year, he is barely an option at QB in the NFL. Someone will take a chance on him, someone will give him a shot, and someone may even squeeze a few wins out of him. He is truly a fantastic athlete.

But guess what? He isn’t as good as Vince Young, and Vince couldn’t make it as a QB either. It isn’t a slight to either of them, but they just are not quite good enough to be QBs in the NFL. He would be great in the CFL (probably), but I am not sold on him at the NFL level.

Let’s get one thing straight: If he is drafted to the NFL, it will be as a QB. A kid who has been praised and worshipped all his life does not just decide he will change what has made him so loved and learn how to be a defensive end or tight end. He will be a QB wherever he goes. The question from here on out is “what SHOULD he do to maximize hsi NFL success”?

With a frame like his, tight end seems to be the standard place to plug him in. He does not really fit in too many other places on offense, so if he is not a QB, he has to be there. Defensively, he could fit as a DE if he is tough enough, but I don’t think he naturally fits many other places either. There is a certain toughness you see in DEs, though, and I do not think Pryor has it. Think about Julius Peppers, Dwight Freeney, or even the random 2nd DE on your favorite team’s roster. If he is even a decent DE there is a little extra toughness about him that, say, your team’s TE doesn’t have. Think Dallas Clark for that one, the prototype guy who can do the job wel but clearly lacks that extra toughness factor. Terrelle lacks this extra toughness, so I am going to slot him in at TE.

See how easy that was? He can start from here, just being a goal-line threat and as he realizes he can and should work on his TE skill-set more, he can potentially turn into a Marcedes Lewis type TE who is big but not really a home-run threat. As time goes on, maybe he gets good enough to really be that home-run threat but I wouldn’t necessarily expect it right away as he seems to have good gliding speed rather than breakaway speed.  Regardless, this possibility is one that is FAR more attractive to me as a mock-NFL owner than a QB with great legs, a questionable arm and what will probably be middling Wonderlic scores. Do I think he will just accept this idea? Absolutely not, but it is a far more realistic option for NFL success than trying to make the grade as a QB. More power to the guy for wanting to be a QB and reaching for the stars, but in my extremely polished faux-journalistic opinion, he would be much better served as a TE at the NFL level.

Lest we forget how breathtaking Pryor could be, here are some videos of him for your viewing pleasure.

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