What Does the Future Hold for Oakland Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor?

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 30: Quarterback Terrelle Pryor #6 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on August 30, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor is officially starting his NFL career this week in the Raiders' Week 13 matchup against the Cleveland Browns, but his NFL future is difficult to predict. 

Pryor, a third-round pick by the Raiders in the 2011 NFL supplemental draft, has yet to see any playing time this season. According to Adam Schefter via Twitter, Pryor is active against the Browns, and may even see some playing time:


For first time this season, Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor will be active, though coaches are uncertain whether they will actually play him.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 2, 2012


It's nice to finally see Pryor get his chance with the Raiders struggling. He's had a tumultuous football career thus far after partaking in the Ohio State tattoo scandal.

After being selected in the by the Raiders, Pryor appeared promising last preseason. He threw for 251 yards in four games with two touchdowns and one interception, giving him a 92.1 quarterback rating. Pryor also added 121 yards and one touchdown running the ball. 

Pryor's activation couldn't come at a better time. The Raiders are 3-8 and one of the worst teams in the NFL .Starter Carson Palmer has been horrendous, in part due to a horrible offensive line. Oakland gave up a boatload to bring in Palmer, but he's added nothing of value to the team. 

A dual-threat quarterback such as Pryor is the perfect fit behind a mediocre line as he can escape pressure and make plays with either his arm or feet. Whether or not Pryor can steal playing time into next season is something worth examining. 


Looking to the Future

Pryor's chance is upcoming. The season for Oakland is already lost, so it makes sense that the coaching staff would insert Pryor into the lineup to see if he can earn a starting role for the future. 

The time is now for Pryor. 

Going into the draft, Pryor was considered a risk and a project player. In Oakland's remaining games he is going to have to prove he is a long-term option for the team or risk losing his job in Oakland permanently to a rookie. 

If Pryor doesn't show anything promising, the Raiders will be in a perfect position to land a top quarterback prospect in the 2013 NFL draft such as USC's Matt Barkley. 

Should the Raiders elect to go this route, Pryor's chances of ever being anything more than a backup in Oakland are over.

Given the situation, it seems as if Pryor has been given an unfair shake in the NFL already, especially considering he was stuck in the middle of two different regimes. That being said, Pryor has the athletic skill set that could end up surprising NFL fans everywhere, along with the Oakland coaching staff. 

What Pryor needs to do the rest of the way is simple: play effectively enough to win a few games while giving the staff some confidence that they can build around him for the next few years. This means not turning the ball over and being a legitimate dual-threat option under center. 

The odds are against Pryor, but that isn't a new thing. He has the tools to succeed in the NFL, he just has to prove himself quickly.