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Terrelle Pryor in 2011 Sugar Bowl
Height: 6’5’’ Weight: 240
Round Projection: Fifth Round
Hate Terrelle or love Terrelle (as a loyal Buckeye, I am airing on the side of hatred), it is undeniable that he is a tremendous athlete with high upside. However, it also cannot be denied that Pryor has trouble with passing accuracy, which is the most important attribute for a quarterback, and may be better suited to play another position in the National Football League.
Pryor’s story is really unfortunate. Over the past couple of years, I really felt that Pryor had the potential to develop into a first-round draft prospect. Pryor is a special athlete, with prototypical quarterback size, tremendous speed and athleticism, and a strong arm. However, Pryor has yet to get to the point of being a consistently accurate passer.
While I am not sure Pryor ever would have become the caliber of prospect I thought he would during his sophomore season, another year at Ohio State may have gone a long way in his development. Instead, Pryor has now become the next in the ever-growing line of disgraced college football stars. While Pryor does have high upside, he remains a raw talent.
Additionally, his character and maturity appear not to be very high, which are important traits for a quarterback in his role as a team leader. A quarterback must handle themselves in a manner in which they command respect from their entire team, and I am not sure Pryor is capable of doing that.
Pryor faces a five-game suspension from the National Football League following the supplemental draft, but this should not adversely affect his draft status. He is a developmental project who would not be expected to contribute early this season anyways, and certainly not at the quarterback position. However, there is talk of whether Pryor would be best suited by converting to the wide receiver position.
Those prospects are certainly intriguing. At 6'5" with 4.4 40-yard dash speed, Pryor possesses a rare combination of size and speed. While his receiving skills are certainly unknown, he did play the position some in high school, and if he is willing to take repetitions at the position, converting him to wide receiver may be a developmental project worth taking on.
Pryor is certainly a talented athlete, who as at times looked like a great quarterback during his three years at Ohio State. However, given his struggles with accuracy, unpolished game, and character concerns, Pryor should not be taken higher than Round 5.
His upside makes him worth taking a chance on in that round, but selecting him higher than that is too risky, considering he may be averse to playing another position than quarterback, and may never be able to contribute in the National Football League, which would likely be a result of poor character and work ethic.
Late Addition: While I answered when he will be drafted, it was brought to my attention that I failed to answer where he will be drafted. There were 17 teams at his Pro Day, so there are many potentially interested parties. Numerous teams will submit a Round 5 bid for him, but it would not be a surprise if a team that really likes Pryor ends up bidding their fourth-round selection to get him.
The team that stands out to me would be the Oakland Raiders. Al Davis's love of speed dominates the Raiders' personnel decisions, and Davis is absolutely enticed by a 6-foot-5 man with 4.4 speed. The Raiders certainly need to upgrade at the quarterback position, so Pryor would be a good developmental prospect, although I could certainly them trying to make Terrelle a wide receiver as well.
Another team to keep an eye on is the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have major needs offensively, especially at the quarterback position. The Bengals have become a ridiculously unpredictable organization of late, so it would not surprise me if they put in a Round 4 bid for Pryor, but they also have a great shot of getting him in Round 5. They sit fourth in the draft order, and it is unlikely that the Panthers, Broncos, or Bills would be interested.
One more potential destination I see is the Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Jones loves to make a splash with controversial big-name players. Pryor would fit that bill, and the Cowboys could either develop him as a quarterback behind Tony Romo, or attempt to make him a wideout to improve their receiving corps.