Big Ten's Best Wide Receiver? Terrelle Pryor's Transformation into Brad Smith
Everyone who watches college football has seen the insane athletic ability of Terrelle Pryor at this point. After three seasons of playing for The Ohio State University, he has developed into a passable college quarterback.
However, I believe his true talent/NFL future lies in something more akin to the role that Brad Smith has acquired with the New York Jets and here is why...
Brad Smith: The Important Points
Brad Smith was an all everything in his collegiate career at Missouri.
- A four-year starter
- The second player ever to rush for 1,000 yards and throw for 2,000 yards in a season and the first to do this twice,
- The first player in NCAA history to throw for 8,000 yards and rush for 4,000 yards in a career
- Took Missouri to its first bowl since 1998 in 2003
- A junior season preseason Heisman candidate
This guy was a very successful player on a team that was just starting to rise when he was attending.
Drafted 103rd overall by the Jets, Smith has never had the opportunity to win the starting QB job, despite these impressive stats and leading a 10-point comeback as a rookie in the preseason.
Instead, he has become the Wildcat offense QB, the kick returner, WR and trick-play QB for the Jets as a spark plug to the offense.
Smith stands 6'1" and weighs 218 lbs.
Stature: Almost Too Tall, Like Ryan Mallet
Terrelle is not the QB who would fall into the "too short to play" category at all.
He stands 6'6" and weighs 233 lbs. He is in fact almost as big as the "too big to play QB" Ryan Mallet from Arkansas/Michigan.
That said, Terrelle's height would put him at an extreme advantage at WR in that he would dwarf the vast majority of DBs both in height and in weight. There is no way to argue that his height would be a disadvantage seeing as how he weighs enough to take a few hits and also—with receivers like Reggie Wayne—they survive just fine without living over the middle and getting walloped all the time.
Arm Strength and Throwing Motion
Have you seen the boy throw?
It looks awkward a large amount of the time and he is definitely not making up for it with some absurdly high completion percentage:
2008: 60.6 percent
2009: 56.6 percent
2010: 65.0 percent
Those are not blow-me-away-type numbers and he has thrown 11 INTs both of the last two seasons.
The number of passes you watch Pryor throw a game and think, "What is this...500?" is almost sickening as a Buckeyes fan. The man needs serious work on his accuracy, throwing motion and reading of progressions.
Run, Forrest, Run?
Athletically we all have seen the crazy runs that Pryor has pulled off and his speed that is so deceptive it makes you think he is just out for a stroll.
He has run quite a lot in the Tressel system that looked more like the Craig Krenzel system than the Troy Smith spread.
In the last two seasons he has run for over 700 yards each season; impressive numbers when you consider that they do run so many plays from under center and I-formations shunned by other teams when they have such impressive athletes at QB.
That said, imagine being a DB and seeing that massive man next to you and knowing, "This guy is faster, taller and stronger than me...man I hope I can out-leap him."
He Could Be Playing for Thad Matta with Those Ups!
Terrelle was also a stud of a high school basketball player. He could have signed D-I scholarships to play basketball and has even joked on Twitter about walking on to play for Thad Matta and the Buckeyes basketball team. The athletic ability, particularly being able to get up and over others, that Pryor possesses is impressive.
If you remember back to the 2009 Fiesta Bowl, Pryor caught an easy jump ball over a significantly smaller receiver by just putting his hands up and jumping.
This was not a trick play—he lined up at the WR position to start the play.
Terrelle has been told every season to work on his passing game...and it is still subpar.
Now he is facing a suspension for the first five games of his senior season.
This is the perfect time to start working on catching, running routes and the skills a WR needs because after this season he has to deal with...
The Draft Debate
Pryor is more talented than Pat White was and is arguably as talented as Brad Smith was as a QB.
Neither of them was a first-round pick; in fact Pat White is now out of football entirely, having moved to baseball after saying he wanted to be a QB throughout the draft process.
If Pryor made the move to WR during his senior season, he could already be showing NFL scouts that he is able to adapt his athleticism and use his background as a QB to be a better receiver.
Pryor chose OSU because he said that Coach Tressel's offense would get him ready for the NFL the best. Well, to be an impact NFL player, he should learn from that staff and join the list of current NFL WRs who are flourishing in the NFL instead of the list of former Buckeye QBs working in broadcasting or sports journalism.