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Terrelle Pryor wanted to play quarterback in the NFL. He played QB at Ohio State, and was pretty good at it, until he was suspended the first five games of the 2011 season for selling his memorabilia. Subsequent other controversies led to Pryor eventually leaving Ohio State in order to enter the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft. Pryor was selected by, who else, the Oakland Raiders in the third round of the draft and he was now living his dream as an NFL QB.
The dream would not last long though. After brief stints with the Raiders and Seahawks by 2014 Pryor was out of football. Here is where the story takes a turn. Instead of sitting around waiting for someone to give him a shot at QB, Pryor, probably out of desperation, converted to wide receiver. Why not right? Pryor needed an excuse to stay in the NFL and he had the size (six-foot-four, 233 pounds) and speed (4.38 40-yard dash) to at least warrant a look at receiver.
In 2015 Pryor was signed and released by Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals before landing with the Cleveland Browns where he eventually made the teams 53-man roster. He played in one game in 2015, the last week of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, recording one catch for 42 yards, and here we are in 2016 with the former QB in an excellent position to actually play receiver in the NFL.
So the question becomes how does a player who used to play quarterback two years ago, become a fantasy sleeper at wide out after not playing football for an entire year?
The answer is hard work. Pryor is a natural athlete, but his dedication to becoming the best receiver he can be is proving to be the difference.
“(I’m) 10 times (better than last year),” Pryor said after an OTA practice on Wednesday. “I look at the film and it amazes me, and I give that to (receivers coach Al) Saunders, because just sitting there and doing the extra meeting time with him and him really breaking down certain routes to me and how he wants them run, it’s awesome.” He told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com on May 25, 2016
He also has built up some nice chemistry with new QB Robert Griffin III, who is also looking to salvage his career in Cleveland. Just watch the Browns-Falcons highlights from this weekend when Griffin lofted a bomb to Pryor for a 50-yard score. What’s more impressive is that Pryor ROASTED Falcons Pro-Bowl corner Desmond Trufant on the play.
Pryor is, optimistically, the fourth best receiving option in Cleveland behind first-round pick Corey Coleman, tight end Gary Barnidge, and a returning Josh Gordon. Looking at those names though you notice that Coleman is a rookie and Gordon is going to miss the first four games of the season, meaning Pryor has a chance to show what he has starting in week 1.
If Terrelle can continue to use his speed and get behind defences, while continuing to develop the rest of his game, we could be looking at a nice sleeper pick. Should he and RG3 continue to stay on the same page the two could end up being one of the best storylines in the NFL this season, and a dynamic fantasy duo.