Betting Impact of Terrelle Pryor Draft Pick for Raiders
by Trevor Whenham - 8/23/2011
After a tumultuous offseason and a several stops and starts along the way, Terrelle Pryor is an NFL player. Given his attitude and behavioral issues it seems very fitting that he has landed in Oakland — the refuge for guys like him for years. The Raiders turned some heads when they offered a third-round pick for him in Monday’s Supplemental Draft, but they obviously felt that he was a player they needed and that they weren’t alone in their admiration of him.
Pryor’s saga has brought more attention to the Supplemental Draft than we have seen for years. Though there have been some very good players — like Bernie Kosar, Brian Bosworth and Cris Carter — selected in the draft it has been a long time since there has been a player that really matters chosen. Will Pryor eventually matter? What’s the betting impact of this selection? Let’s take a look:
Short-term impact - None. Pryor has been suspended for the first five games of his NFL career after a bizarre over-reach by the NFL disciplinarians. Given his strong need to not be a trouble maker in the league it’s unlikely that he will appeal that decision.
It’s not like it really matters, though, because it was very unlikely that he was going to be a significant impact player early in the season anyway. In fact, he likely wouldn’t have seen the field given his late arrival in camps and the huge learning curve that is ahead of him no matter what.
Mid-term impact - Likely not a lot. It really depends here on what they decide to do with him. If they leave him as a quarterback then it is unlikely in my mind that he will ever be a significant factor. He’s far from accurate, and he played in a system that was a long way from a pro style — and was the way it was because of his strengths and weaknesses. He’d have a huge adjustment to make, and I am not at all convinced that he is smart enough to make that transition effectively and thrive in a much more complex pro system.
Even if he did eventually become a strong quarterback it wouldn’t be this year — even though the team doesn’t exactly have overwhelming depth at quarterback.
It initially seemed like Pryor was determined to stay at quarterback. As time has passed, though, clues have emerged that he will be willing to make a move. That move would likely be to wide receiver or tight end. If he did make that move then the impact for the rest of this year likely wouldn’t be very much, either, because of the difficulty of learning a new position.
Long-term impact - My faith in the Raiders’ ability to do the right thing is justifiably weak. If they manage this one right, though, then they could wind up having a very nice player on their roster at the bargain price of a third-round pick.
The right move in this case, I am convinced, is to tight end. Pryor is a QB who is huge and ridiculously athletic. He’s 6’6” and more than 230 pounds, and there is room to add a lot of muscle to his frame. He’s also ridiculously athletic — his 40-yard dash time at his pro day compared to the most impressive wide receivers, and he is much bigger and heavier.
If he has any aptitude for catching the ball then his athleticism and size would make him an almost unstoppable force. Antonio Gates is two inches shorter than Pryor and only 25 pounds lighter, and he is a freak at tight end. Pryor could potentially be every bit as good.
A move to wide receiver would have the potential to pay off as well — the Raiders turned QB Ronald Curry into a pretty nice receiver and he wasn’t nearly the athlete that Pryor is — but I don’t think the upside is quite as significant.
If he stays at quarterback, though, then I’m not convinced that we will remember who he was 10 years ago.
Concerns - This should be obvious. Pryor has been tagged as a guy with serious attitude issues, a deep sense of entitlement, a disregard for authority, and inconsistent work ethic and performance. What he has gone through in the least year should come as a huge wake up call for him, and he really needs to grow up.
Of course, he probably wouldn’t have been drafted higher than the third round anyway, so this isn’t the bottoming out that he might have needed to shape up. I’m convinced Pryor could have a bright future, but only if he’s a different guy than he was in Columbus. Oakland may not be the best place to foster that new maturity.
Betting impact - Likely not too much. People have been interested in his story and his progress, but it certainly hasn’t been a really major story. Given his inconsistency as a player and all of his issues since — and the challenges he faces given his playing style — I don’t think that a lot of people are expecting much from him. He has burned too many bridges, and just wasn’t consistently good enough in college to have people salivating.
The surprisingly high draft pick could boost interest, but ultimately he’s just a third-round pick, and third-round picks don’t shift lines early in their careers. Wide receivers and tight ends basically never shift lines by themselves, either, so if he does move positions then he won’t be a factor. He’s a guy who will be interesting to keep an eye, but at this point you don’t need to lose a lot of sleep worrying about his impact on your bets.
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