The general consensus among those paid to predict the NFL Draft is that the Oakland Raiders got Terrelle Pryor at fare value. Al Davis gave up a third round pick to select Pryor in the supplemental draft which is right about where he likely would have been valued in the 2012 NFL Draft. However those same “experts” also view Pryor’s athletic ability as the main reason why he’d be a third rounder behind bigger names like Andrew Luck, RGIII and Ryan Tannehill.
Though Pryor improved each year he played at Ohio State he never looked completely comfortable as a passer. His accuracy and mechanics have been questioned and many wonder if he wouldn’t be better served making a position change.
Of course there isn’t any way of knowing what type of pro passer Pryor is since he has yet to even throw a ball in an NFL game.
An even bigger mystery is what the future will hold for the project QB now that the Raiders have brought in a new regime, one that didn’t draft Pryor.
As it stands the Raiders don’t have a legit backup to Carson Palmer. You’d expect Reggie McKenzie to address that need after the draft by finding a veteran on the cheap. That means for the time being Pryor has until training camp to convince the coaching staff that he’s ready for the next step.
For all intents and purposes this will be Pryor’s rookie season. He didn’t join the Raiders until the conclusion of camp last year and then had to serve his commuted collegiate suspension. The only action Pryor saw was a failed QB sneak against the Chiefs that was over before it started due to a pre-snap penalty.
Apparently Hue Jackson had been working on a few packages that were to get Pryor involved in the offense but that never came to be. Kyle Boller needed only one half of football to convince Jackson to turn to Palmer and never look back.
As for the Raiders, if they’re looking ahead with Pryor in their plans then the voluntary offseason workouts will be crucial. Naturally there is no live action so Pryor’s progression will have to come in his grasp of the playbook and how sharp he looks in drills. Not the kind of stuff that convinces a coach he’s sitting on a Hall of Fame QB but very vital in establishing a sense of trust when turning an offense over to any thrower.
It might sound strange but Pryor could already be at the crossroads with the Raiders. He was an Al Davis guy and as we know most of those men were shown the exit upon McKenzie’s hire. It seems unlikely Pryor will rise to #2 on the depth chart going into camp. But that doesn’t mean there is no role for him on the roster. If the Raiders are sticking with Pryor as a fulltime QB then he’s got plenty to prove.
No matter what this team needs a better backup plan should Palmer become injured. It might already be a now or never scenario for Pryor. Something else Reggie McKenzie has done away with is the East Bay Scholarship Program which means emergency third string QB won’t be given an indefinite amount of time to prove they can play at the highest level.