Terrelle Pryor a NFL QB?


This article was written by new staff writer Jon New!  Give some feedback for our newest team member!

Ohio State junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor was one of the most highly recruited players when he came out of High School, and when he signed with Ohio State in February of 2008 he was touted as the next Vince Young with his rare blend of size (6’ 6”, 225) and speed (sub 4.4’s).  Once he was inserted as the starter early in his freshman year many thought he was destined for great things.  However, the junior has struggled at times in his three years as the starter and the question for Pryor now is how his skills will translate to the next level.  The majority of the success Pryor has experienced at the college level has come from his dual threat abilities.  He keeps defenses on their feet with his ability to take off running and break a big play when his protection breaks down.  While making plays out of nothing is a valuable addition to any quarterbacks game, players like Michael Vick and Vince Young have shown that it doesn’t always translate to consistently winning at the NFL level.

While Pryor has shined at the college level by using his feet to break big plays, he has struggled in a variety of areas in the passing game.  For Pryor to be considered a top QB prospect he will need to improve his passing skills over the course of the next year and a half.  Pryor has shown a significant weakness with his inability to throw against man to man coverage.  He tends to see man coverage and immediately looks to run rather than waiting for things to develop and challenging the defense .  He has also struggled with accuracy issues by overthrowing open receivers and sometimes leaving balls short on crossing routes.  While he possesses great arm strength he has not shown a great ability to use that to his advantage by fitting the ball into tight windows, and often times floats balls in the air for far to long giving the defense ample time to react and make a play.  His decision making may be the biggest weakness so far but also the easiest to overcome once he learns that punting and avoiding sacks is as important on third down as making a play.  Pryor consistently throws back across his body when rolling out and often puts to much faith in his receivers by throwing the ball up for grabs in hopes of making something happen.  Those type of plays in college are often overlooked since most college defenses do not have the speed to capitalize on them.  NFL defenses will no doubt have a field day with those types of decisions and if Pryor does not begin to improve he will no doubt find himself being asked to play a different position at the next level.

When it comes to the NFL draft, scouts and evaluators tend to sometimes forget the actual play on the field and put to much stock into workout numbers.  Pryor will no doubt shine at the scouting combine as he is generally considered the best athlete when he is on the field and will surely light up the stopwatches and dazzle the scouts.  While he is one of the best athletes to play the quarterback position in college if he doesn’t improve his overall game he likely will be waiting awhile to hear his name called in April.  The good news for Pryor is that he has shown a vast improvement in his game and leadership skills since being named the starter.  If he continues to work hard and improve his play as a quarterback during his senior season he will no doubt have a team or two willing to take a chance on him in the draft with hopes that he will someday become a productive NFL quarterback.