Repeat after me: Terrelle Pryor is not a first-round pick.
Terrelle Pryor is not a first-round pick.
Yet, super agent Drew Rosenhaus made the case that Pryor would go in the supplemental draft's first round yesterday. He did so in a press conference where neither Rosenhaus nor Pryor took any questions and the whole show lasted under eight minutes.
Does that even count as a press conference?
Regardless, Rosenhaus' shocking declaration about Pryor's future prospects sure has people talking, and with good reason.
Despite the reality of an agent obviously talking up his client, there is a historical reason to listen to Rosenhaus.
See, in February of 2003, Rosenhaus signed a University of Miami running back named Willis McGahee, only one month after the Hurricane star completely tore apart his knee.
Then he made the famous declaration that McGahee would be a first round pick in just a few short months.
The Buffalo Bills selected McGahee with the 23rd overall pick in the first round, making Rosenhaus look like Nostradamus.
But, the circumstances this time are quite different. Pryor is a quarterback and one lacking in several football skills (unlike McGahee), primarily accuracy, which is a must for any quarterback.
Please read the Pryor scouting report by The Sporting News' Russ Lande.
Perhaps the most telling quote of Lande's is the following: "Of the 40 quarterbacks I have charted over the past four years, Pryor’s accuracy ranked 36th out of 40."
I followed up with Lande about this statement and the quarterbacks that he ranked worse were former Kentucky quarterback and NFL bust Andre Woodson and two guys that he couldn't even remember. That's pretty damning.
What also ensures that Pryor won't be a first-round pick is that a track record matters to NFL personnel types. Yes, Pryor is 31-4 as a starter, but if you take a closer look at his statistical contributions you can see he will struggle in the NFL.
Last season, he attempted 25 passes or less in six games. In four games, he threw for under 200 yards, and only once did he pass for over 300 yards, against a perennial Big Ten doormat in Indiana.
That's a game manager, folks, especially at the college level.
Pryor ran for over 100 yards in four games during the 2010 season. But the NFL is a passing league and Pryor isn't Michael Vick.
One more reason that Pryor won't go in the first round of the supplemental draft, and surprisingly I'm not going to delve into his questionable character, although you can ask Ryan Mallet how that impacts your draft status, is the lockout.
It appears the lockout will be resolved fairly shortly, although there is no indication or timetable for sure. Even if the lockout is resolved by the beginning of July, it’s hard to imagine that the NFL will be in a rush to hold a supplemental draft right away.
Free agency will be the first order of business and Pryor will be lucky if a supplemental draft is held by late July or early August.
This means that the ultra-raw Pryor would have less than a month to show that he can make impact on an NFL team.
Not bloody likely.
Still, despite all these negatives, and my initial thought that Pryor wouldn't be drafted at all, here is why he'll be drafted much higher than most people think, including myself.
First, Drew Rosenhaus is no idiot. You don't get to be one of the biggest agents in the business by being dumb.
Rosenhaus wouldn't have signed Pryor if he didn't know that he had a marketable commodity. He also arguably wouldn't have signed him if he didn't have some preliminary interest from NFL teams in the former Buckeye.
Remember, it only takes one team to make a mistake. For example, as long as the Raiders need a quarterback with physical skills and have an owner obsessed with speed and measurables, then we know of one possible landing spot for Pryor.
Second, Pryor has an "NFL arm." Boy, am I sick of hearing about players having NFL arms.
But, the reality is that if you don't have one you aren't probably going to get drafted high.
If you can make every throw and Pryor can, then NFL teams figure that they can fix the rest of a player's shortcomings and will gamble on a selection.
Pryor also does some of his best work when the pocket breaks down and he is flushed out of the pocket. He can throw on the move.
Well, the pocket breaks down a lot in the NFL.
Finally, much of the league is in a win now mode. With coaches and general managers fighting for their jobs, one can easily look at Pryor and say, "Who cares if choosing him is going to cost a pick next season? We need help now; otherwise I might not be around."
Don't get me wrong, Pryor isn't going to start for a team in year one, but can he come in for a few plays, in a wildcat or special formation role? Absolutely.
Bottom Line: Pryor probably doesn't escape the fourth round and I wouldn't be shocked if he went in the third. If he makes it into the third round, Rosenhaus will probably be smiling and adding Pryor to the McGahee story he likely tells future clients.
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