Marcus Mariota's resurgence, Terrelle Pryor's emergence, more


Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks knows the ins and outs of this league, providing keen insight in his weekly notebook. The topics of this edition include:

» Does Terrelle Pryor have what it takes to become a true No. 1 wideout?

» Eric Kendricks explains what makes the Vikings' defense so darn dominant.

» Why Mike McCoy should NOT be on the hot seat in San Diego.

ASK THE LEAGUE: Can Terrelle Pryor be a No. 1 receiver?

After spending three-plus years pursuing his dream of being an NFL quarterback, Terrelle Pryor decided to try his hand at wide receiver. While plenty of coaches and scouts believed he was talented enough to play on the perimeter, few expected him to develop into a WR1. But after watching Pryor deliver big play after big play for the Cleveland Browns throughout the first half of this season as the focal point of the team's passing game, I wanted to reach out to my scouting buddies to see if the narrative has started to change. I placed a few phone calls and posed this question:

Do you think Terrelle Pryor can be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL?

NFC assistant director of pro personnel: "He honestly looks the part for Cleveland. He is a freakish athlete, and he's made plays despite being relatively new to the position. He can be a No. 1 for the Browns, but I think he's probably a No. 2 or No. 3 for most teams. I think he's an ascending player, though."

Former NFL general manager: "He's big, fast and explosive. He's a dynamic athlete with all of the tools needed to dominate on the perimeter. He's far from a finished product, but the upside is tremendous. ... Basically, he's Josh Gordon without the drama."

Former NFL head coach: "He's a young guy with tremendous upside. He's big, fast and physical. He's not polished, but he could certainly grow into a No. 1 receiver in some systems. ... Worst case, he could be a solid No. 2 and fill a key role as a QB3."

AFC pro personnel director: "He has rare talent. He obviously has some things he needs to clean up, but he's long, fast, athletic, with leaping ability and body control. He definitely could get there -- it's too bad that he didn't embrace the move to wide receiver from the start."

AFC senior personnel executive: "I don't think so. He is a big, natural athlete who can make some 'wow' plays every now and then, but he is still learning and developing at the position. He is still learning how to run routes, set defenders up and create separation consistently. He is a No. 1 for them because they don't have any other options, but I believe he is probably a solid No. 2 on most teams."


Terrelle Pryor is one of the most fascinating stories of the 2016 season. He has not only transitioned from NFL quarterback to wide receiver, but he has emerged as the Browns' No. 1 option in the passing game. While I can't say I'm surprised Pryor has succeeded as a pass catcher, based on his unique combination of size (6-4, 223 pounds), speed (reported 4.38 40 time) and athleticism, I'm amazed at how quickly he has developed into a top-notch playmaker at the position.

Through six games, Pryor has totaled 33 receptions for 413 yards and three scores. That's remarkable production for a pass catcher with less than a full year of experience playing his current position. In addition, he has recorded 21 rushing yards on eight attempts with one score and has completed 5 of 9 passes for 41 yards as a QB3/Wildcat quarterback.

Again, though, Pryor's success doesn't necessarily shock me. After all, he displayed an impressive array of skills as the starting quarterback at Ohio State, capturing MVP awards at the 2010 Rose Bowl and 2011 Sugar Bowl as an electric dual-threat playmaker. At the time, I believed he was the best player on the field, someone whose dazzling offensive talents made him a threat to score whenever he touched the ball.

When I look at Pryor play wide receiver for the Browns, I still see an explosive playmaker with unique talents as a multi-purpose threat. He is quickly becoming a dependable pass catcher adept at making plays as a deep-ball/red-zone specialist. He also shows promise as a runner/passer, playing Wildcat QB in exotic formations. Thus, he is a valuable commodity as a versatile offensive weapon for a creative mind.

Although he must continue to refine his technique as a route runner, I believe Pryor has the potential to become a Terrell Owens-like playmaker on the outside. Not that he will post Hall of Fame numbers as a WR1, but he definitely can make an impact as a rugged pass catcher who overwhelms defenders with his sheer size and athleticism.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.



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