As expected, former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was selected in the supplemental draft today. The Oakland Raiders surprised more than a few people when they forfeited their 3rd round selection in next year’s draft for the rights to Pryor. Going to Oakland isn’t necessarily shocking, but even the Raiders are stretching it now by leaving themselves with no 2nd, 3rd, or 4th round picks in the NFL Draft next April.
So, now what.
Before we talk about how and when to roster him, let’s first take a look at Terrelle Pryor the football player. In his three years in Columbus as leader of the Buckeyes, Pryor posted an impressive 6,177 passing yards, 57 touchdown passes, 26 interceptions, 1,484 rushing yards and added another 17 rushing touchdowns.
The numbers are only part of the story.
Pryor’s career at Ohio State won’t be remembered for Rose Bowl wins, National Championship aspirations or statistics – he’ll be remembered for being at the epicenter of a scandal involving jersey sales, alleged autograph payments and a wildly popular Coach losing his job trying to cover up his transgressions.
Going to Oakland gives Pryor the fresh start he needs. The question is going to be what position he actually plays. He obviously dazzled the Raiders in his pro day workout by posting 40 times of 4.38 and 4.41, but his scripted throwing workout was less than stellar as he completed just 27-of-39 throws. When you complete only 69% of your passes against air, that’s a red flag. All that considered, it looks like the Raiders are going to keep him at quarterback for now.
Simply put, it’s really tough to see Pryor being an effective quarterback at the NFL level. His accuracy and decision making are questionable and that’s a major concern, no matter how elite of an athlete he may be. The best bet for fantasy production in the future for Pryor is likely him converting to wide receiver or even tight end down the road – who knows what the Raiders will do, though. They are, after all, the Raiders.
So, what do we now?
There are a few different ways that commissioners can handle the late addition of Pryor to the player pool. They could simply wait for his name to be added to the league database (some already have him there) and have owners either make claims or add him outright. In one league I run, I actually facilitated a supplemental league draft similar to the NFL where owners had to place a claim and surrender a draft pick for the round indicated on their claim in the 2012 rookie draft. Either way works and it depends on your league’s capabilities. Commissioners should be clear on when and how he should be added. Otherwise, there could be some confusion and questions of fairness.
What’s he worth, you ask?
If you’re in a league starting a rookie draft right now, we believe Pryor should be considered as early as round three, but we’d really be hard pressed to advise taken him any earlier. In fact, round four seem much more palatable. In essence, even that’s a reflection on the shallow nature of this rookie pool more than our confidence in him developing into a great player. We’d much rather have the second tier running back prospects and the other quarterbacks like Ponder, Kaepernick and Dalton before we’d go for Pryor. If you want to roll the dice in round three or four, he’s still certainly worth considering, though.
While Pryor is an elite athlete, there just doesn’t seem to be a great place for him at the moment. Jason Campbell, Kyle Boller and Trent Edwards aren’t going to make up the quarterback depth chart long term, but Pryor’s suspension and the lack of training camp are going to really stunt his growth. You’re looking at 2012 at the earliest to see anything from him. Do you want to lose a roster spot for the entire year and hope he pans out?
In the end, Pryor is the longest of long term prospects – if someone else wants to burn a first or second rounder on him, let them go for it.