The Oakland Raiders are going to go through the charade of keeping their starting quarterback a secret, but it's Terrelle Pryor.
Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle first reported the news, which wasn't too surprising.
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Once upon a time, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Pryor would be starting on opening day in the NFL. He was one of the greatest high school athletes we've seen in many years. That's part of what makes Pryor interesting. He has the pedigree to be very good.
Pryor has always had fantastic athletic talent. He was the top football recruit in the nation in high school, and was a four-star basketball recruit at small forward. He showed it in the preseason. On one run in particular against Seattle, he put on a quick move and blew past a Seattle safety in the open field – Pryor made it look easy, and you don't see that in the NFL too often.
So what happened? He went to Ohio State, which isn't known for its passing game. And he never really developed into a star there, mostly because he never got much better throwing the ball (Pryor, of course, deserves plenty of blame for that). In fact, his legacy is probably best tied to the tattoo scandal that led to his departure and Jim Tressel's firing. He showed a few flashes of greatness but never got to the point where he was a star.
The Raiders used a third-round pick to take Pryor in the supplemental draft, which drew some laughs. But again, how could you not be intrigued by his skill set? Especially in this era, where mobile quarterbacks are actually accepted and built around rather than dismissed as unable to function as pocket passers in the rigid NFL, Pryor seems like a good fit.
He has an uphill battle. He still hasn't developed much as a passer. His 59.5 passer rating in the preseason is pretty scary. The Raiders don't have an offensive line that can protect him (that's one reason Matt Flynn failed this preseason) and they don't have any dynamic pass catchers. Most of his success will come from his running ability. He'll need to get better as a passer or he won't make it. Ask Tim Tebow about that.
The good news is Pryor will be given a chance. What do the Raiders have to lose? Maybe Pryor shows he can be a competent quarterback (he recently turned 24 years old; he's almost two years younger than Colin Kaepernick and about seven months younger than Russell Wilson), and if he does the Raiders can confidently pick defensive end Jadeveon Clowney over a quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater next spring. Or maybe Pryor can at least show enough that the Raiders can wait on that quarterback until 2015 (Jameis Winston? Brett Hundley? Kevin Hogan?).
The Raiders aren't going anywhere this season. Pryor provides an interesting storyline and a reason to watch, at least. Can he live up to that immense promise everyone predicted out of him so many years ago?