Is Terrelle Pryor destined to suffer a Tim Tebow-like NFL purgatory?
After being selected in the third round of the 2011 supplemental draft by the Oakland Raiders, quarterback Terrelle Pryor has followed an interesting career path that some may compare to the polarizing Tim Tebow.
Like Tebow, Pryor has flashed ability, but has been unable to make a breakthrough so far in the NFL as a quarterback.
Both are similar not only in career paths, but both also share some of the same issues and strengths on the field, as ESPN's Skip Bayless pointed out:
Terrelle Pryor/Tim Tebow similar in QB ability. But Tebow makes more big plays, running option, completing big late passes, igniting team.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) August 14, 2012
Now before you freak out for having to read the master troll's opinion, let's be clear on one thing—he may be right about this one.
Let's take a look at how Pryor is following a career path eerily similar to Tebow's—which isn't a good thing.
On the Field
First of all, Pryor may be experiencing Tebow's journey in a sense so far because of his skill set. Tebow weighs in at 6'3" and 236 pounds. Pryor? 6'6" and 233 pounds.
Tebow is a dual-threat quarterback who enjoys pulling the ball down and acting as a bruising running back. During his best year with the Denver Broncos, he threw for over 1,700 yards and 12 touchdowns while adding over 600 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.
Conversely, Pryor has not had as much experience in the league yet, but he flashed ability with the Raiders last season when he threw for over 150 yards and two scores with another 51 yards and a touchdown as a runner.
In his 30 attempts as an NFL quarterback so far, Pryor has completed just 46.7 percent of his passes. The only time Tebow has acted as a starter and attempted more than 200 passes was 2011 with Denver—when he completed 46.5 percent of his passes.
The point is, Pryor is not all that different from Tebow, at least at this point in his development. They have both struggled with accuracy and appear more comfortable pulling the ball down and running rather than progressing through reads, which has caused coaching staffs not to take them seriously.
This is where Pryor has a chance to break free from the Tebow comparison. Tebow's story is well known: One of the greatest collegiate athletes of all time led the Broncos to a playoff victory before being shipped to New York.
Now Tebow is still searching for a job after reportedly refusing to play anything but quarterback, according to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post. Instead, he wants to sit and learn to play quarterback, according to Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole:
Unlike Tebow, Pryor had a shot at having an outstanding collegiate career before being banned from Ohio State University over an improper-benefits scandal and subsequently entering the supplemental draft (per Ben Kercheval of College Football Talk).
Fortunately for Pryor, he isn't being asked to change positions, and the coaching staff in Oakland is giving him a chance to learn and compete for the starting job next season, according to Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times:
As expected, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie said Matt Flynn will compete for starting QB spot, along with Terrelle Pryor.
— Steve Corkran (@CorkOnTheNFL) April 1, 2013
While the Raiders brought Matt Flynn in under the presumption he would be the starter in 2013, don't count Pryor out just yet. He flashed some potential in spot duty last season, and it's always hard to gauge just how well a player will develop given time.
How Pryor Can Shake the Comparison
The chance for Tebow to ever be a starting quarterback in the NFL again is fading faster than a blackout in the Superdome.
You can't say the same for Pryor.
Is Terrelle Pryor just another Tim Tebow?
The soon-to-be 24-year-old quarterback still has a shot at developing to the point of earning a starting job. In Oakland, he does not have the toughest competition in the journeyman known as Flynn, and he's been given an extra year to prove his worth now that the team elected not to take a quarterback high in the 2013 NFL draft.
The time is now for Pryor if he ever wants to shake the Tebow comparison, not to mention if he wants to have a lengthy NFL career.
Pryor needs to take the reins, win the starting job and show a rebuilding organization in Oakland there is no need to bring on other players at the position—he is the man to lead the renaissance for the Raiders.
Terrelle Pryor isn't another Tim Tebow—yet. It's up to him.
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