I watched Terrelle Pryor go one-on-one with Jon Gruden last night on ESPN. I didn’t even really plan on watching it, but then I saw it was coming on and decided to watch. There were a lot of details of Terrelle Pryor’s end at Ohio State that were left out, but honestly, what’s the point anymore? Once a guy leaves school, who really cares about what kind of arbitrary NCAA rules were trampled?
Pryor’s one statement was that of sorrow that it ended like that, but also that he had no other choice but to leave with the growing distractions. I think there was a lot of selfish motivation in moving on, but he isn’t wrong in saying that it would only continue to harm his former team and teammates if he had stuck around.
Once it got down to football with Gruden, I thought Pryor came off reasonably well. He said all the right things about being competitive, loving his teammates, wanting to lead, but being willing to do whatever it takes to get on the field. As with anyone, it could have been all lip service. At this stage, though, why wouldn’t you take Pryor at his word? He should feel pretty desperate right now as he stares at the supplemental draft and an uncertain future with more doubters than he’s ever seen in his entire life.
That’s what I came away with more than anything else. We all know Pryor. He is an extremely talented athlete with questionable mechanics and some streaks of youth and immaturity that will be hurdles that he must clear in order to be effective in the NFL. Nobody, including Pryor, knows if he will ever be able to clear those hurdles, but at the end of the day, I don’t begrudge Pryor the opportunity to try.
For Pryor’s sake, I hope he finds a situation where they aren’t desperate for his services right away. He truly has a lot of work to do on his mechanics and accuracy. He needs a situation that will allow him to be a paid intern for a couple years.
On Twitter, former Ohio State Buckeye and NFLer LeCharles Bentley was all over the Pryor session with Gruden. He thought that Pryor’s demeanor was similar to Aaron Brooks. He went on to wonder whether Pryor could command an NFL huddle or not, claiming Pryor would need a veteran team around him.
I am sure Pryor is hoping to have a better career than Aaron Brooks. Brooks ended up with a career 56.5% completion percentage with a QB record of 38-52 with the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders. He also threw 92 career interceptions to go along with his 123 career touchdowns.
Brooks was drafted in the 4th round of the 1999 NFL draft, and I still expect Pryor to arrive in the NFL somewhere in that range in the supplemental draft. That seems about right for kind of player Pryor is and the amount of risk there is that he will ever contribute in meaningful ways in the NFL. But last night on ESPN with Gruden, I didn’t think Pryor did anything to implode his stock. He did pretty well.