Does Terrelle Pryor Have a Realistic Shot at Serious Playing Time in 2012?

Lou RomContributor IOctober 21, 2012

Aug. 17, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback (6) Terrelle Pryor calls a play against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

At 2-4, the Oakland Raiders are going nowhere in 2012, and their starting quarterback, Carson Palmer, is arguably on the downside of his career.

Which begs the question: Will Raider Nation get a chance to see Terrelle Pryor, the former Ohio State standout, behind center?

Palmer, in his second season with the Raiders, is putting up solid numbers despite a porous offensive line.

Through six starts, he has thrown for 1,732 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. He's not going to make anyone forget Tom Brady any time soon, but he's been respectable, something that can't be said about the Raiders overall.

Pryor, the Ohio State product, has yet to take a snap this season.

In limited preseason action, he completed 59 percent of his passes for 251 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 121 yards on 12 carries and another score.

Pryor has he size and speed that former Raiders owner Al Davis always coveted. He was among Davis' last draft picks before the legendary owner passed away in the fall of 2011.

Of course, many in the organization still have the jitters over Davis' last "big" quarterback pick: JaMarcus Russell, the former No. 1 pick of the 2007 draft, was one of the NFL's biggest busts in history.

That memory, and the solid play of Palmer, should be enough to dissuade the "rebuilding" movement in Oakland.

Palmer is 32, not 36 or 37, the age of Peyton Manning and Tennessee's Matt Hasselbeck, who are putting together some pretty good seasons.

Eli Manning, at 31, is still on the upside of his career. Palmer won't get any better, but it's reasonable to think he can play at this level for a few more years.

No need to bench the guy who gives you the best shot to win now and next year for a youth movement in Oakland.

The Raiders selected Pryor in the third round of the 2011 supplemental draft. He forfeited his last season with the Buckeyes on the heels of the investigation into the team's memorabilia scandal that cost coach Jim Tressel his job.

Lou Rom, a veteran journalist with more than 17 years experience, covers the NFL, his hometown New York Giants and whatever else gets under his skin for Bleacher Report.