Terrelle Pryor's 2012 Outlook with the Oakland Raiders
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In 2011, the Oakland Raiders selected Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft for a 2012 third-round pick. However, this pick was also accompanied by a five-game suspension in the NFL following a NCAA investigation into players receiving improper benefits.
While the NFL had no direct part in the original investigation and suspension, they chose to negate a bad situation by implementing the suspension to further prevent more college students from using the NFL and the draft to avoid punishment in the NCAA ranks. This move was used to show more solidarity from the NFL to support college sanctions and to prove they fully supported the NCAA in their findings.
The sanctions did not stop the raiders from taking a chance on Pryor and using the future third-round pick on him. Incidentally, due to the compensation picks, the Raiders still ended up with another third-round pick in the 2012 draft. Pryor essentially became Al Davis’ last gift to the Raiders. What we do know of Pryor is this:
There is little doubt that Pryor has the potential to be one of the better quarterbacks the league has seen in recent years, but you can’t blame the Raiders for taking it slow and giving Pryor a chance to develop after the JaMarcus Russell fiasco.
But where does that leave his development at this stage? It’s actually pretty simple. McKenzie is not going to rush Pryor into the offense this season and is going to do something rare in the modern NFL, and let the kid develop.
We have our starting quarterback in Carson Palmer, and will get a few years out of him before his contract expires and he decides to hang up the cleats for the last time. Palmer is currently under contract until 2014, providing the Raiders with three more seasons to have Pryor improve before sending him out to start.
Enter Matt Leinart. After McKenzie said (via Tim Kawakami at Mercury News) that Pryor had all the potential to secure the No. 2 spot when the voluntary workouts started, the team went out and signed Leinart to back up Palmer. While this does seem bleak for Pryor, remember they are grooming him to become the franchise quarterback.
However, during the voluntary workouts the team decided that it was in their best interest to bring in another veteran quarterback to challenge Pryor for the No. 2 spot and to hopefully propel him into the next step in his progression.
This challenger for the second string spot is the best measuring stick for Pryor’s progression. When the official depth chart for the 2012 season is released we will be able to judge where Pryor is at by what place he holds.
If he can overtake Leinart for the No. 2 spot, then we can rest assured that they feel he is game ready anytime Palmer goes down. However, if he is third overall on the depth chart, then it is safe to say his progression to starter is a few years off yet.
This leaves the possibility for Leinart to get a longer contract with the Silver and Black, providing another measuring tool to judge Pryor by. If he only gets another one-year contract, then they still feel Pryor can start soon. If he gets a multiple-year deal, then it will be a few years at least before Pryor starts.
As the offseason progresses we will be able to accurately judge Pryor off of Leinart. And when preseason gets here we can get our first real look at Pryor as a pro. Whether we will be impressed, or if Pryor will be another quarterback to be repressed has yet to be seen.
For more Raiders insight, check out the rest of Tim Kawakami's report on McKenzie and Pryor.
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