Being drafted by Raiders won’t aid Pryor’s NFL career

Terrelle Pryor’s speed has always been the key to his success. That speed may now be the reason his NFL career is over before it even starts.

The former Ohio State quarterback ran a 4.36 40-yard dash — the fourth fastest of this year’s draft class — effectively sealing his fate. The Oakland Raiders selected Pryor in the third round of the NFL’s supplemental draft earlier this week.

Raiders owner and general manager Al Davis is a simple man. He just wants his players and coaches to win; if they don’t, they’re gone. His draft strategy is equally straightforward: Take the fastest player available. The Raiders have selected the player with the fastest 40-yard dash time in the last three drafts — Darius Heyward-Bey in 2009, Jacoby Ford in 2010 and DeMarcus Van Dyke this year.

Despite his freakish numbers — 6-foot-6, 240 pounds and a 31-4 record at Ohio State — it’s uncertain if Pryor has the accuracy needed to be an NFL quarterback. Consider also that Pryor will be suspended for the first five games this season and it becomes clear why most teams didn’t want to use a draft pick on him.

From the Raiders’ standpoint, Pryor is a steal. His contract is worth about $2.3 million over four years, which is two years and $59 million dollars less than what they paid JaMarcus Russell to complete 52 percent of his passes over three seasons. Pryor may not start this year, but the Raiders’ other options at quarterback are Jason Campbell, Trent Edwards and Kyle Boller, so anything could happen. But if I’m Pryor, I’m praying to get traded.

Ever since Al Davis essentially traded head coach Jon Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Raiders have been the poster child for futility. Gruden proceeded to blow out his former team in Super Bowl XXXVII 48-21. In the nine seasons following Gruden’s departure, the Raiders have posted a 48-96 record. In 2009, they became the only team in NFL history to lose at least 11 games in seven straight seasons.

The Raiders certainly haven’t made rebuilding any easier for themselves, hiring seven different head coaches in the last nine years. It’s impossible to develop any sort of team chemistry or master a playbook when there are new players and coaches every year. Davis has made it clear that if his employees don’t produce, he’ll fire them. Unfortunately for Raiders fans, it’s hard to get a new general manager when he’s also the owner. (Sidenote — if you’ve never seen how crazy Raiders fans are, please Google it.)

Pryor has the necessary tools to become a successful NFL player — either at quarterback or wide receiver — but not on a team as poorly managed as the Raiders. Playing quarterback for Oakland is the last step before irrelevance or retirement because it’s very difficult to get another starting job if your team is consistently below .500.

Obviously Pryor is happy to be on an NFL roster, but Oakland is where careers go to die.

Kevin is a sophomore in Media. He can be reached at [email protected]