To say Terrelle Pryor’s football career has been a roller coaster thus far is an understatement. Entering into the final year of his contract the only certain thing for Pryor is that his future is uncertain. With his pro career on the ropes, we look at Terrelle’s career so far and how he can still make an impact in Oakland.
Pryor burst onto the scene as a freshman at Ohio State University winning Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year in 2008. He followed up his spectacular Freshman season by making back to back All-Big Ten teams and even winning the Conference MVP after his Junior year in 2010.
Initially Pryor was going to go back to OSU and finish his senior year but then he was suspended along with 4 other Buckeyes for the first five games of the year. With that in mind he decided to declare for the NFL supplemental draft.
At Pryor’s pro day in 2011 he was measured at 6’6″ and weighed in at 240 lbs. He posted an incredible 4.38 forty yard dash time. Although he showed he had exceptional athleticism for an athlete his size he struggled with his throwing accuracy. Questions remained whether or not he could be an NFL quarterback.
Despite all the questions, Al Davis took a chance and drafted him in the third round of the 2011 supplemental draft thanks to his tremendous speed. When drafted, analysts speculated on whether or not Oakland would try to develop him as a quarterback or force him to change positions. Going into the 2011 season Head Coach Hue Jackson decided to keep him at the quarterback position.
After sitting for the better part of two seasons, Pryor finally got his chance to be the Week One starting quarterback this season, after having a great preseason. While the starter he showed some promise, culminating in a great performance in a Week 5 win over the San Diego Chargers where he threw for 221 yards and 2 tds and no turnovers. Pryor performed well again in a Week 8 win versus the Pittsburgh Steelers and even set an Oakland record for longest run in history, with a 93 yd td run in the first quarter. However after this game his season started to go downhill and eventually ended up with him injuring his knee in a Week 10 loss to the New York Giants.
After the knee injury he did not start again until Week 17, with everyone assuming it would be an evaluation game. Dennis Allen stated after the game he didn’t know if the franchise quarterback was on the roster. With that statement it is assumed the Raiders would be looking for a quarterback this offseason to start, with McGloin as the backup, leaving Pryor as the odd man out. The question remains what does Pryor need to do to keep his job in the NFL.
I think we have seen the end of the Terrelle Pryor era behind center but that does not mean he can’t be an impact player elsewhere on the field. If I were the Raiders or Terrelle Pryor I would seriously consider a move to wide receiver. Pryor has the size and speed to be an impact receiver in the NFL.
Moving to wide receiver has saved more than a few careers, most notably; Brad Smith, Antwaan Randle El, Julian Edelman and Hines Ward. All of these listed players made the transition to receiver either in college or coming out of college. The difference being they had more time to become developed route runners and pass catchers than Pryor would have making the jump in just one offseason. An advantage Pryor has over them is his unique size and athleticism.
Moving Pryor to wide receiver would give the Raiders a big, explosive, threat on the outside. Something they have missed since Randy Moss was traded to New England. I’m not saying Pryor is going to be the next Randy Moss, but he fills a need if he is able to make the switch seamlessly. It would also keep the front office from having to spend on a free agent wide-out.
At this moment in time I have not heard of any rumors of Pryor attempting to switch. However it would be in the best interest of both parties for him to transition to wide-out. There should always be a place in the NFL for a 6′ 6″ athlete who runs sub 4.4 in the 40 and receiver is Pryor’s best bet. Transitioning won’t be easy but if he dedicates this offseason to the move, it will help him keep his spot with Raiders. Pryor might not have dreamed of being a receiver as a kid, but that position might just save his NFL career.