A year & a half ago Terrelle Pryor looked like a wasted second round pick by the Oakland Raiders. I on the other hand saw TP2 as the future starting QB for that Raiders’ squad. My proclamations on Twitter of Pryor becoming an All-Pro or Hall of Famer were said in jest but his ability to be a top tier NFL QB were extremely serious.
Pryor had all of the tools at Ohio State, the size of Cam Newton, a live arm, the speed to hit the edge similar to Vince Young, and the most importantly the ability to lead men. He started as a true freshman at The Ohio State and immediately made an impact. He never shied away from the spotlight, a trait which ultimately led to his dismissal.
Even then I thought he had the ability to be a top 5 draft pick in the NFL draft. These thoughts were only reinforced after seeing Cam Newton, whom has a similar skill set, rocket up the draft boards to eventually become the #1 overall pick.
Cam was also involved in a college scandal and its still widely assumed that he took benefits at Auburn. So, why the quick dismissal of Pryor?
Al Davis didn’t make many good decisions at the end of his tenure but his selection of Pryor may go down as the best move of the past decade for that franchise. Pryor showed a glimpse of what he is capable of in last night’s preseason game. Unfortunately Matt Flynn will once again find himself on the wrong end of the “New NFL Quarterback.”
The position of quarterback is changing in the NFL and its no surprise that the best athletes now gravitate towards the position. Pryor was actually one of the first of this generation to posses a natural NFL throwing motion, at least the first since Vick, and have the speed to outrun top notch defenders.
He is still raw but he hasn’t played against top competition for 3 years now. Some may look at it as time wasted but for Pryor it allowed him to mature; something that was listed as his greatest flaw at OSU. The Raiders are now the beneficiary of this more mature version of Pryor. A guy that was as popular as any QB to ever come out of HS and was supposed to be the next big thing in sports.
A player that wasn’t marketable 3-4 years ago but fits in with the new wave of NFL QBs. His tattoo work will quickly make the Bay Area QBs known for both their running ability and artwork.
This season the AFC is down as a conference and the Raiders will be in position to emulate the 2012 Colts by going from last in division to a playoff team. the only way that happens though is if Pryor is the man calling the shots under center.
Pryor is what the NFL is becoming and coincidentally he was the first one to usher in this era. Quite simply, he didn’t need to catch up to the NFL; the NFL needed to catch up to him.