It is a well-known fact that Terrelle Pryor has tremendous speed, agility and athleticism. Unfortunately for the Raiders, he has spent most of his time on the sidelines since his arrival in Oakland. When he has gotten the opportunity to play, he has been a mediocre quarterback as a passer. When he’s been called on to run, it has been a different story.
He put his abilities on display in his record setting 93 yard touchdown run against the Pittsburgh Steelers. During that run, he looked more like a wide receiver running after a catch than a quarterback.
Would Pryor make a good wide receiver? The player which wide receivers are currently measured against most is Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions, otherwise known as Megatron. Pryor measures up surprisingly well when you compare the two from a size and physical ability standpoint.
Calvin Johnson is one inch taller and three pounds heavier than Pryor. His vertical and broad jump distances are better, but Pryor’s jumps are still respectable for a wide receiver. The Wonderlic score is a lot higher for Johnson. This test, while regarded by some as insignificant, does indicate that he is very smart. His performance on the field supports the theory. But the average score for a wide receiver is around 17 and Pryor is slightly above that.
There are many factors to consider, but it would seem that Pryor has all of the physical attributes necessary for a wide receiver. He could use his size to get between the quarterback and the defender. His strength gives him the ability to fight for the ball and come down with it. He could also use his speed to get behind the defense, giving the Raiders a deep option as well.
One major question would be can he catch the football? Quarterbacks are pretty much required to have good hands and Pryor has shown nothing to indicate that he can’t catch. Can he make the necessary catches and toe taps along the sideline? His agility indicates that he could. Another thing to consider is if Pryor can hang on to the ball consistently. Again, he has shown nothing in any of his runs to indicate that he can’t.
There are other considerations as well, but another major factor is his ability to run after the catch and after contact. This is where Pryor excels. He has thrilled Raider fans a few times with his ability in the open field. Any deficiencies he would have at the wide receiver position can be corrected through coaching.
Pryor, having played the quarterback position would have an advantage. He should already know what is expected of a receiver and where he is supposed to be on every play. He should know to help out the quarterback when he is under duress by coming back towards him and presenting himself as a target.
The most pressing question is whether or not Pryor would be willing to make the switch.
Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen has stated openly that he is not sure if the Raiders have their franchise quarterback on the roster. This puts Pryor’s status as a starter or even his continued service with the team in question. It may come down to Pryor being willing to make the switch if he wants to remain a Raider and if he wants to see significant playing time. It is doubtful that the coaching staff would approach him with the idea, so he would have to present it to them.
Why not find a way to use Pryor’s physical abilities to good use instead of having him sit on the sidelines and have it go to waste? Even worse, why let him go to another team so they could put his ability to work? If they can’t use him as a quarterback, why not use him as a wide receiver?
Any physical training he may require can be accomplished during the off season workout programs starting in April. When training camp comes around, he can get any coaching he would need. There should be very little required because a quarterback should know what is expected of a receiver.
The transformation should be complete by the time the season starts should Pryor and the Raiders decide to make the move. The switch, if successful would fill a position of need for the raiders. One could imagine the possibilities this move would open up for the Raiders in their Wildcat offense. It is something to consider for sure. Could this be what Al Davis had in mind for Pryor when he drafted him? Probably not, but the idea has merit.