By Matt Vensel
10:30 AM EDT, June 8, 2011
Suspended five games for breaking NCAA rules by accepting improper benefits from a tattoo parlor and perhaps facing further punishment for other misdeeds, embattled Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor announced through his attorney Tuesday that he would not play for the Buckeyes this upcoming season.
Pryor is eyeing entry to the NFL through the supplemental draft -- the same route Maryland’s Jared Gaither took to the Ravens in 2007 -- but labor uncertainty could lead him to the Canadian Football League first.
"I would hope so. Also, he would hope so," Larry James, Pryor’s attorney, said of the 21-year-old’s desire to enter the supplemental draft. "But he's going to take the next couple of days to get his head together."
So what are Pryor’s pro prospects? At 6-foot-6, 233 pounds, he has prototypical size for the quarterback position and he is an excellent athlete. He rushed for 2,164 and 17 touchdowns during his three years at Ohio State, and he completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 6,177 yards and 57 touchdowns.
But ESPN’s Todd McShay said that Pryor has accuracy issues, poor footwork and below-average football intelligence.
“Pryor carried a third-round grade following last season (and remains in that area now) based mostly on his potential to move to receiver if he does not make significant progress as a quarterback early in his NFL career,” McShay wrote on Tuesday, “and the odds are stacked heavily against him doing so.”
Mel Kiper Jr. agreed with that assessment, saying “significant hurdles remain” in Pryor’s development as a quarterback. But he thinks that Pryor switching to wide receiver or tight end in the NFL “is a tantalizing thought.”
Might the Ravens be tantalized enough by that last thought to try to take Pryor in the supplement draft? They just drafted two wide receivers in Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss and they selected tight ends Ed Dickson and Ed Pitta in 2010. But Pryor is a unique athlete the Ravens can attempt to mold into whatever they want.
Let’s face it, a team is going to think exactly that and take Pryor if he enters the supplemental draft. His role in the implosion of the Ohio State football program won’t be enough to scare some teams away. But his scatter-shot arm and his happy feet in the pocket might after personnel people break down his game tape.
“If they believe in his talent … they’re going to take him,” Sports Illustrated’s Peter King said. “I don’t think just because he did some deeds in college that may get his school on probation -- it has been proven in the past with other players -- that’s not going to hurt his stock tremendously, I believe.”
Your turn: Should the Ravens have interest in Pryor the athlete if he enters the supplemental draft? And if they were to take him, how should they put him to use on the football field?
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