When the late Oakland Raiders’ owner Al Davis hand-selected QB Terrelle Pryor in the third-round of the Supplemental Draft, he had no idea whether Pryor would turnout as a legitimate NFL quarterback.
Now entering his third season, the verdict is still out on whether Al Davis’ last selection, was the right choice. However, if I had to guess, I would predict his production to be similar to the Ohio State quarterback he replaced in college, Troy Smith.
Pryor, not known for his accuracy, is not your proto-typical pocket passer. Therefore, new offensive coordinator Greg Olson will need to devise an offensive scheme to alleviate the pressure on Pryor. Meaning, more touches for running back Darren McFadden. Furthermore, reports out of Oakland indicate that Olson will throw out the zone-blocking scheme in favor of power-blocking, a smash-mouth style more suitable for Oakland’s offensive line.
However, with all these changes, how will Pryor fair? In my opinion, Pryor will never be the mobile quarterback of a Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, or Russell Wilson, but he can evolve into a player like Troy Smith. Smith, played quite well for a San Francisco 49ers team in turmoil, guiding them to a 3-2 record, as the full fledged starter in 2010. He provided excitement from the quarterback position that had not been seen since Jeff Garcia departed for Cleveland. His explosive plays mixed with an inaccurate arm, provided Niner fans with a love-hate relationship for him, and Pryor will be no different.
In Pryor’s only start, he played extremely well against the San Diego Chargers. He threw for 13 of 28 for 150 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, he also rushed 9 times for 49 yards and one touchdown. An impressive performance if you ask me. Despite those stats, however, I don’t see that trend to continue for a full 16 game season.
Pryor will have his struggles, and at times, will throw for more interceptions than touchdowns. It is all part of the learning curve for a young inexperience quarterback. One thing working in Pryor’s favor, in spite of all my criticism, is his mobility. Pryor can run like the wind with 4.42 (40 yard dash). You can’t coach speed and Pryor has plenty of it. This asset, will afford him to extend plays while allowing his receivers to get open.
His dual threat playmaking ability will not only help his receivers but his offensive line as well. Defensive lineman and linebackers can no longer afford to over-pursue on passing downs, due to Pryor’s ability to take off and run. This bodes well for an Oakland Raiders offense trying to find it’s groove. A struggling offense trying to find their identity, Pryor will definitely “wow” the Raider Nation with his playmaking ability and long runs.
With Pryor behind center, it gives the Raiders offense an added threat for defenses to prepare for, and if they are not ready than they will be left scrambling on how to stop this new look offense.