The Oakland Raiders traded a 6th round pick to the Houston Texans for Matt Schaub, a player who was oft linked to the Cleveland Browns. Now, following that move, one of last year’s starters for the Raiders, Terrelle Pryor, wants out of Oakland:
— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) March 24, 2014
Could the Browns get involved with the Raiders for Pryor to compete with Brian Hoyer and a rookie QB for the starting position? Lets take a look at a few things that could help make the decision:
No one thought the Texans could get any type of draft pick in return for Schaub due to his huge contract and cap hit. They were wrong, the Raiders acquired a 6th round pick. Pryor is younger and cheaper, with far less successful experience in the NFL. The Raiders could hope to get a pick higher then the 6th round, and possibly could, but recouping the 6th rounder they gave up for Schaub means a clean swap of Pryor for Schaub.
A 5th rounder should get Pryor for the Browns, and get him back to the midwest where he was a star at THE Ohio State University and as a high school star in Pennsylvania. Yet it is still possible that the Raiders could release Pryor as rumors have it that they have tried to move him all off-season.
Pryor is a unique QB who has a skill set that has to be used correctly. He is not a standard drop back passer. While his throwing motion has improved from his college days he still struggles with accuracy and timing. Think Vince Young with the Texans. Last year Pryor played in 11 games and seemed to have ahold on the starting job until a knee injury. Pryor’s ability in the run could fit perfectly in the Kyle Shanahan play action passing system. The play action pass holds the linebackers and Pryor’s ability to run after the play action pass gives the rest of the defense pause in their approach. A taller, stronger and long striding Robert Griffin III.
An issue in fit for Pryor is his long ball touch. Unlike RG3 who has great command and touch on the long ball Pryor has struggled with his mechanics since high school. In college Pryor often threw the football like it was a shot put with his hand almost fully underneath the ball. This led to looping passes that were often off target. When plays break down Pryor’s ability to extend the play and let his receivers get open allowed for some success in the passing game. Needless to say the 24 year old QB would be a project, but one with upside, in the Shanahan system.
Pryor’s talent with the ball in his hands is evident. His long strides are deceptive to defenses when he runs. He has a feel for the game that is difficult to find, but mostly when he is running the ball. Last year in Oakland, in only 11 games, Pryor ran for 576 yards with a 6.9 yards per carry average. On the run he accumulated 27 first downs and 2 touchdowns on his 83 carries. That is highly productive.
The passing game looked wildly different. Pryor completed just over 57% of his passes for just under 1,800 yards. He threw for 7 TDs but had 11 INTs for a Total QBR of 30.5 and a QB Rating of 69.1. While Pryor was playing with an undermanned Raiders’ offense his stats backup that he has a long way to go as a passer. Prior to the ’13 season he even admitted to learning to throw for the first time:
“I never really knew how to throw a football before,” Pryor said Sunday, according to the Bay Area News Group. “It’s coming along. I’m getting way better. I probably missed four or five throws out of 80, 85 throws today. I might ice my arm as a precaution tonight, but it feels great.”
Option for the Browns?
Unlike Schaub, Pryor’s age and definitive (running) skill set make him a fit on the Browns roster. The Browns can give Pryor a chance to develop and compete with whatever rookie they draft, wherever they draft him, for the part as the future QB of the team. A depth chart of Hoyer, Pryor and one of Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel would have a great deal of upside, but also a great deal of work and attention needed by the coaching staff.
Pryor is a low risk/high reward type whose only off the field issues were related to college rules. He hasn’t caused any problems since entering the NFL and seems willing to work. As an Ohio State fan it was obvious he need a great deal of work on his throwing mechanics and with the Browns he wouldn’t even be guaranteed a roster spot. Yet after watching Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden last year it would be nice to have a weapon the bench that could keep a game interesting if called upon to do so.
What say you? Should the Browns give Pryor a try? Does his history with OSU impact your thoughts at all? Did you realize he was still so young? Would the pick up of Pryor make you feel better about passing on a QB high in the draft?