By drafting Terrelle Pryor in the third round of this year's NFL Supplemental Draft, the Raiders have finally signaled that they are ready to try and groom their own quarterback again. At this point no one can definitively state how this will end, but despite whatever controversy or results may ensue, this was a good move by the Raiders. Clearly some fans have already begun to rehash conflicting reports about his accuracy or attitude, but in the end, there is little doubt that Terrelle Pryor seems to have the all the physical tools necessary to be successful in the NFL, so the Raiders were wise to take him in the third round.
Typically, teams do not trade franchise quarterbacks. Consequently then, if the Raiders ever hope to have their own franchise quarterback anytime soon, it will more likely result from the draft, rather than from a trade. So why not take a chance on an obviously skilled athlete with their third round pick? Some may ask, why draft an athlete over a quarterback? However, have not similar questions been raised about Michael Vick or Randall Cunningham? There was a reason the Philadelphia Eagles chose to keep their athletic quarterback, while trading their outwardly otherwise capable quarterback; athleticism, in the end, is a good thing. Of course, this is not to state that athleticism is the only thing, merely that athleticism is a positive, not a negative. Moreover, Terrelle Pryor seems, at least at this point, willing to work to improve.
The Raiders, by drafting Pryor in the third round, as opposed to drafting another quarterback in the first or second round, have lessened the pressure on Pryor; as higher round pick, the expectations and cap cost would have perhaps forced the Raiders to try and start him sooner, rather than later. As it stands, Pryor, as a third round pick will have more time to develop. Yes, undoubtedly there will be media pressure, however that is a lot less pressure than there would have been as a highly paid first round pick. Therefore, drafting Pryor in the third round simultaneously works in both Pryor's and the Raiders favor.
At the end of the day, regardless of how this turns out, the Raiders were wise to take a chance on Terrelle Pryor in the third round. However, in the spirit of disclosure, I must state that I have not followed Pryor's football career in Ohio and do not generally have the time, at this point, to follow a lot of college football - except for, on occasion, UCLA Football - so, I am relying on various scouting reports in assessing Pryor. Nevertheless, the points enumerated above focus on the decision rather than on the player and to that end, the decision to draft a player of Pryor's caliber was a sagacious one. Moreover, the decision to keep him at quarterback may pay huge dividends for the Raiders in the long run, for if the Raiders succeed with Pryor at quarterback, they will undoubtedly become a very dangerous team to defend against and for Terrelle Pryor personally, the quarterback position seems to be where his heart is.