Here’s what Terrelle Pryor produced as a receiver after the Cleveland Browns converted him to that position last season: One catch on eight targets, 42 yards, zero touchdowns.
Given how things are looking this preseason, however, you might have to throw those numbers out the window, because Pryor is increasingly looking like he can be a threat at that position.
Pryor is currently listed as a starter on the Browns’ depth chart, and after a solid preseason opener, he pulled off a stunner on Thursday when he beat Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl corner Desmond Trufant for a 50-yard touchdown.
Trufant has been clocked at 4.38 in the 40, but so has Pryor. Look at the separation he gets on an excellent veteran player here:
That’s just one play, but there are signs of an emergence in the former quarterback from Ohio State. There are the physical skills, of course, which are easy to like. Pryor is fast, and he is also big, listed at 6-6, 240 pounds. It’s a combination that Browns coach Hue Jackson is eager to take advantage of.
“It means they better back up ‘cause he’ll run by you,” said Jackson, who was together with Pryor during stints in Oakland and Cincinnati. “He’s made some huge plays.”
In addition to that, Pryor is showing to be a great match chemistry-wise with quarterback Robert Griffin III, who has always been able to throw a beautiful deep ball. And he also appears to have great confidence heading into his first season as a full-time receiver.
“I knew I had him (Trufant) when we called the play,” Pryor told Cleveland.com. “I knew I was going to beat him.”
Pryor will need time to grow into this new role. He is not going to be a star right off the bat. His route running and technique can get better and he still doesn’t understand some of the simple rules that relate to the position.
“There was a couple times from an illegal formation standpoint, it could have been called,” Jackson said. “It wasn’t, but we’ve got to make sure we shore all that up because the season’s around the corner, and we’ve got to be much better than what we were tonight.”
But Pryor knows he’s not a finished product, he knows he has a lot of improvements to make and despite his confidence, he stresses a patient approach.
“I don’t want to shoot too far what I am and what I’m not. … I control what I can control and try to do the best I can.”
But there is clearly excitement around his potential as a receiver, and it’s not just because of one eye-popping play against the Falcons.
“It’s been an amazing transition for him, I think everybody’s excited for TP,” Griffin said. “… You can see the vibe on the sideline whenever TP makes a play. Everybody’s excited for him because they know how hard of a transition it’s been for him.”
It might take some time, but Pryor now finds himself in a great position. He has the skills, the confidence and the relationships with his quarterback and coach to grow into something big. You have to like his potential as a receiver going forward.