Louisville safety Calvin Pryor has been widely projected as a first-round choice in the 2014 NFL Draft by experts -- possibly the first safety chosen over Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix -- and his impressive 4.58 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine did nothing to change that. Call it curious and refreshingly honest, then, that the most credible recent suggestion that Pryor might slip into the second round of the draft comes from ... Pryor himself?
Yep, scouts are indeed whispering first round into Pryor's ear, as expected, but that's apparently not the only round.
"I've been getting great feedback. They've been saying first round or early second, but you never know what to expect," Pryor told courier-journal.com after the Cardinals' pro day event. "I'm just taking it a day at a time and focusing on my craft."
NFL Media analysts Charles Davis, Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah have Pryor off the board no later than the No. 21 overall pick to the Green Bay Packers in their latest mock drafts (Brooks), and as high as No. 13 overall to the St. Louis Rams (Jeremiah). Davis has Pryor going to the safety-weak Dallas Cowboys at No. 16 overall. Plenty can change throughout the seven weeks remaining before the May 8-10 draft, and the latest news and information available in the days before the draft could be significantly different from what is being projected in mid-March.
Still, Pryor slipping to Round 2 would certainly be a surprise as of this week. And it would certainly come as welcome news to Clinton-Dix, who then would figure to be the first and perhaps the only safety to go in Round 1. It could be that those telling Pryor he could be a second-rounder are merely trying to keep his hopes and expectations in check, a prudent move considering the first round always leaves out more disappointed players than it surprises with their inclusion.
But you can bet there are some NFL clubs drafting early in the second round who would be pleasantly surprised to see Pryor available that late.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.