Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor is set to become the most coveted player in Monday's NFL Supplemental Draft.
This comes after a nine-month soap opera regarding the numerous NCAA rule violations he committed during his time with the Buckeyes. Many were skeptical that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would even allow him to be eligible for the draft after Pryor decided to leave school in the midst of the infamous scandal.
But this skepticism was quelled last week when it was decided that Pryor would be allowed to enter said draft instead of being forced to wait until next April's NFL Amateur Draft.
According to NFL.com, 17 teams were present at Pryor's pro day on Saturday including the San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers.
The team that seems to make the most sense for Pryor is a team that has actually been one of the league's most successful franchises throughout the last decade: the Indianapolis Colts.
Many would claim that such a statement makes no sense due to the fact that the team already has one of the most decorated players in NFL history, quarterback Peyton Manning.
Yet Manning's health status is in doubt to begin the season due to offseason neck surgery, causing many Colts fans to worry about whether their darling golden boy will ever be the same. In fact, there are some who believe that such an injury may even be career-threatening.
Though nothing is official at this point in time, there have been reports Manning may not be healthy enough to start the season. And with Manning currently at the tender age of 35, the team must begin thinking about a future replacement for their iconic superstar.
Third-year quarterback Curtis Painter is believed by some to be Manning's eventual successor, but his mediocre play in the 2011 preseason cannot have those in Colts Nation feeling too comfortable.
That is why Pryor would be a great fit in Indianapolis.
There is no doubt Pryor needs at least a few years of seasoning on the bench before ever being handed the reigns to an NFL team. He is far from ready to start at the next level, but he certainly has the tools to become the next true dual-threat quarterback in the league.
Some scouts believe he is too raw to ever be successful in the NFL, but there is no doubt the guy is an absolute winner. His 31 wins as a starter for Ohio State (including three against archrival Michigan) is just five wins shy of the all-time Buckeyes record held by the great Art Schlichter.
Pryor also has a 2-1 record in BCS bowl games. Furthermore, he was named the game MVP in each of the aforementioned BCS victories, which only demonstrates the immense talent that he possesses.
His style of play is much different than Manning's due to his ability to scramble and make plays with his feet. Yet in order to be successful in the NFL, quarterbacks must also learn how to stand in the pocket and make plays with their arm—an art that Manning has mastered throughout his 13 seasons in the league.
There will definitely be some growing pains with Pryor, no matter what situation he ends up in. But at least in Indianapolis, he will be able to learn from one of the all-time greats.
Another reason why Indianapolis should pounce on the chance to select Pryor is actually because of their perennial success. The Colts are usually one of the top teams in the AFC each season, and for this reason they rarely find themselves with draft picks near the top of each round. This will never allow them the chance to select one of the top quarterbacks in any future draft class.
Yet by drafting Pryor in Monday's supplemental draft, they will be able to land a future franchise icon at a much cheaper price. At this point in time, he is the epitome of a low-risk/high-reward prospect that could eventually become one of the league's best in due time.
Of course there is no guarantee the Colts will even get the chance to select Pryor, due to the way the supplemental draft works. After all, teams do not find out the draft order until thirty minutes before it is set to begin. Teams must also decide whether they are even going to participate in the draft and sacrifice future draft picks before they even get the chance to send in a bid for a certain prospect.
Though it is a risky process, the Colts would be absolutely foolish not to take the chance on trying to obtain Pryor. Manning will be sorely missed no matter who the Colts eventually decide to choose as his replacement. But Pryor is one man who could certainly help make the transition much more bearable.
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