- Oakland Athletics ace Scott Kazmir headed to Houston
- Antonio Gates suspension: A look at Chargers tight ends who must step up
- Angels midseason grades: Turmoil overshadows reasonable start
- Greg Monroe to visit with Lakers, Blazers during free agency
- Matt Kemp hitting leadoff as Padres shake things up vs. Giants
- Padres promote Pat Murphy for remainder of the season
- Clippers acquire Lance Stephenson for Matt Barnes, Spencer Hawes
- Bud Black fired by Padres after nine seasons
- 3 takeaways from Seattle Seahawks OTAs
- Stephen Curry goes cold as Warriors fall to Cavs in OT, 95-93
5 Reasons Terrelle Pryor Will Be the Oakland Raiders’ Next Experiment
- Updated: August 26, 2012
Terrelle Pryor has been a fascinating figure since he was voted the top prep football player in America coming out of high school.
For the Oakland Raiders, the third round supplemental draft pick is one of the more intriguing players on its roster for much of the same reason he was highly coveted by Ohio State and other top-tier schools — he’s got freakish athleticism and raw skills.
In the NFL, quarterbacks have to be polished, and that’s what Pryor is missing. But it won’t take long before fans of the silver & black begin to clamor for him if things go wrong. The fans, as evidenced by the crowd’s reaction during the preseason game against the Detroit Lions, would welcome it.
Here are five reasons that they’ll likely get their wish and the Raiders will use Terrelle Pryor in 2012:
1. The Preseason Hype Machine
In limited action in the 2012 preseason, Pryor showed excitement and big-play ability. Granted, it was only against vanilla defenses and high-end college level talent, but it still fed the hype that constantly surrounds former Buckeye. His most electrifying play was a 59-yard scramble against the Lions that saw him juke and dodge tacklers with the elusiveness of a running back.
Shortly after, he ran for a 17-yard touchdown that appeared all too easy. These plays breathed life into a dull crowd at the Oakland Coliseum and could very well do the same during the regular season.
2. Potential Team Struggles
The Oakland Raiders have as good an opportunity as anyone to compete for the AFC West title in 2012, but if the offense doesn’t perform well, then Pryor could provide a spark. Carson Palmer has been a mentor and has helped Pryor improve as a passer, but if he’s hurt, Pryor should surpass current second-stringer Matt Leinart. Palmer is securely entrenched as the team’s starter, but circumstances can change quickly in the NFL and if the team has nothing to lose, anything can happen.
3. The Cam Newton Factor
Obviously, Terrelle Pryor and Cam Newton are miles apart in terms of their development as NFL quarterbacks. But the classmates do have some similarities in their ability to be a threat when a play breaks down. Could even more success from Newton in 2012 cause the Raiders to give Pryor a look during the regular season? It’s entirely possible.
4. Low-Risk, High Reward?
Pryor was the third pick in the NFL’s supplemental draft and is slated to make a base salary of $375,000 in 2012. With his signing bonus, he’ll only count $411,000 against the salary cap. When considering what potential he has in terms of generating revenue, bringing him in could reap benefits far beyond what he’s being paid, especially if he wins.
5. Fan Pressure
Raider fans are almost as famous (or infamous) as the team they cheer for, and will have a distinct voice when it comes to what product they want to see on the field. They know what they have in Pryor, and if circumstances warrant it, they could clamor to see him on the field. It may not be the best decision from a football standpoint, but it will be a move that management considers if the chatter begins.
Michael C. Jones is the Editor of Sports Out West. You can follow him on Twitter @MikeJonesTweets.