Pryor has a lot of upside because of his size and athletic ability, but I am not sold on him being a NFL quarterback despite Drew Rosenhaus’ claims to the contrary. I think he should consider moving to receiver in the NFL, but obviously I understand if he wants to give quarterback a legitimate shot. I just don’t think he has it in him to play QB at the NFL level based off of what I’ve seen. He’s not a bad college quarterback, but a lot of his tendencies translate very poorly to the NFL. I will explain those more in depth in my scouting report below, but I have to say I would be surprised if Pryor was drafted any earlier than the 4th or 5th round in the NFL Supplemental Draft. Any earlier and he is being drafted for his athletic potential and his possible switch to receiver, not because of his ability and upside as a quarterback.
Size: Pryor’s combination of size and athletic ability is rare for the quarterback position. He is listed at 6’6”, 233 pounds according to what I can find, which is pretty incredible. I would like to see him hold a “pro-day” of sorts just to get official measurements as well as a relatively accurate 40 time, but I would be surprised if that happened for the Supplemental Draft. He has more than enough size to play QB in the NFL, but his size and athleticism also makes him an intriguing player for a conversion to WR.
Arm Strength: Pryor has natural arm strength, not a lot of it, but he can get the ball downfield. However, he rarely has good zip on his throws, especially intermediate or deep passes. He has the arm strength to play in the NFL but he doesn’t have the zip on his throws to consistently threaten defenses on intermediate throws, if that makes sense.
Accuracy: This is one of the major problems with Pryor’s game. He shows the occasional (and I have to emphasize that word) flash to be accurate, but far too often his passes are inaccurate. He struggles with ball placement, doesn’t regularly throw to the right shoulder on deep passes, doesn’t do a good job of hitting his receivers in stride consistently and far too often his receivers are trying to dig out low throws, diving/reaching to get to throws behind them, etc. His accuracy could be improved with significant mechanical improvement, but he will never be a very accurate passer and currently his accuracy is poor.
Mechanical: This is another significant issue with Pryor’s game. His mechanics are not consistent in any positive aspect. At times he doesn’t have a clean drop from under center, he has happy feet in the pocket regularly as you can almost sense that he is itching to run, and while his throwing motion is solid it could use some tweaking. He doesn’t dip it down to his waist or anything though, to his credit. He consistently throws off balance however, he doesn’t square his shoulders up to the line of scrimmage when scrambling to his left, he throws across his body back to the middle of the field in rare instances, and routinely throws without resetting his feet. However, even in a clean pocket his mechanics and accuracy are less than impressive.
Mobility: This is perhaps the highlight of Pryor’s game and the part of his game that gives him the most upside in the NFL as a possible quarterback and as a receiver. I would expect him to run something around the 4.5 range if he did run a 40 yard dash time. He has impressive quickness for his size, he has a good burst, and he just has a good feel for running in the open field. His ball security needs work as he will neglect to tuck the ball away sometimes, but he has the straight line speed (thanks to his long strides) to threaten teams as a receiver as well.
Pre/Post Snap Reads: Pryor struggles in this aspect of the game as well. He does make two reads fairly consistently but he rarely scans the field and delivers the ball, rather he will go through a couple of his progressions (sometimes in a rush it seems) and then take off, so I question if he is actually scanning the field to throw or whether he is just waiting until he inevitably takes off scrambling. I am also not very convinced that he has a good sense of making reads pre-snap, which leads to him being surprised by blitzers that come free off the edge at times.
Pocket Poise: As you can probably guess, I was not impressed with Pryor’s pocket poise. He regularly looks antsy in the pocket and drops his eyes too quickly in the face of pressure, and looks to scramble out of the pocket instead of stepping up to remain in the pocket to continue scanning the field. He also doesn’t deal well with pressure, and seems to panic and look to escape instead of standing tall to deliver a throw downfield.
Intangibles: I am not convinced Pryor is a great leader and I don’t think he is clutch. He has made plays late in games before, but he is just as likely to make a play that helps your team as he is to hurt your team, and a lot of that has to deal with his inconsistent mechanics and poor decision making. He takes so many risks, makes so many off balance throws, and participates in so many broken plays that when he takes a chance late in a game he can make a play and get a completion on a throw or a 1st down running or he can throw an interception. I don’t think his good plays are a reflection of any kind of clutch demeanor, but I also don’t think his interceptions are a reflection of him wilting under pressure necessarily. I think he is indifferent to the pressure to some degree, and just makes the same decisions that he makes when there isn’t pressure. Unfortunately he doesn’t regularly make good decisions then either, so bad plays happen late in games as well.
Character: Pryor’s character has to come into question because of the investigations going on at Ohio State, and while I don’t think he is a serious character concern I do think that he comes off as arrogant at times, and clearly didn’t show the best decision making in reference to the tattoos and cars he has been linked to as a result of those investigations. It will be interesting to see just how good or bad his character is, but he clearly thinks highly enough of himself that he wasn’t willing to consider very legitimate options such as the CFL and UFL, which plenty of other players have had to consider in lieu of the NFL lockout. I don’t want to say he is being arrogant for refusing to consider playing receiver, but depending on how long he refuses or resists that possible transition it might come off that way.