Has good size and athleticism. Has a quick release with very good arm strength. Dangerous runner because he has very smooth burst and speed. Difficult to tackle due to his combo of size and speed, and defenders have difficulty getting a square hit on him. Shows pretty good accuracy and will lead receivers and anticipate throws. Able to go to his second read and usually shows a nice ability to checkdown.
Needs to improve his decision making. I'm not sure his coaching staff really trusts him, and he isn't asked to make a lot of big time throws. Needs to do a better job securing the ball when he's on the move, holding it like a loaf of bread. Prefers to evade the pocket when pressure or when the clock goes off in his head, instead of being able to slide and move within it. That can lead to some unnecessary sacks. Needs to go through his progressions a little quicker, as the internal clock can get a little long. Throws mostly out of the shotgun.
Pryor has a lot of NFL tools and has all the physical tools you look for in a first round pick. He's advancing as a pocket passer and has the tools to be successful there on the next level. Looked better towards the end of the year. His athleticism is second to none, and certainly puts him up there in the Randall Cunningham, Michael Vick, and Vince Young echelon of athletic quarterbacks that can make plays with their legs. Although you like that he doesn't overly rely on his legs and would prefer to throw from the pocket. He reminds me a lot of Josh Freeman when he was at Kansas State, but I think Pryor's probably at the same point at the end of his sophomore year that Freeman was at after his junior year and when he got drafted. There is a lot of potential in Pryor, but the main issue is the matter of maturity and leadership. I don't think it's a lack of these intangibles, but it is very telling that the coaching staff at Ohio State doesn't really trust him. He is rarely asked to make difficult throws downfield. And their offense basically functions as first read, maybe a second read, and then either checkdown or run. That's the same basic offense he'd run in the pros, but there will be a lot more difficult throws mixed in there, and I haven't seen him reliably do that. And while Ohio State has a conservative offense, if the coaches don't have the confidence in him, then I see no reason why I should either.
What I Want to See in 2010:
I want to see Ohio State put more on his plate. His play down the stretch last year I think deserves them affording him more opportunities to make plays with his arms, and really make those NFL-level throws that scouts/coaches look for. Other than keeping an eye out for those elusive intangibles, the main things I'm looking for is his accuracy when throwing downfield as well as his pocket presence. I want to see him make better decisions as well.
Pryor is getting a lot of hype for the Heisman this year because people think Ohio State has a realistic chance at going to the title game. That certainly is possible, but it likely will require Pryor to take that next step forward. And if he does, then it's quite possible he could go pro after this year. If not, he should stay and get another year of development, which he probably will need. I think ultimately there is a pretty good shot for him to be a 1st round pick when he does come out because he has similar physical tools as Josh Freeman. I think he'll be a late first rounder that can sneak into the middle or later part of the round for a team that misses on the top quarterback prospects. Personally, I think he's a third round guy right now, but his physical tools and potential will probably bump him into a second round pick at worst.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.