Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Sep 2010

ESPN: Terrelle Pryor Readies for the Leap

Knock Terrelle Pryor if you want, but he's performing like an elite recruit should. In our latest ESPN piece, I take a look at his Combined POE as compared to other star recruits from the last five seasons. In his first two seasons, only Tim Tebow performed at a higher cumulative level than Pryor. The level of improvement in his sophomore season was not significant, but he is still primed for a very good third season in Columbus.

Posted by: Bill Connelly on 02 Sep 2010

3 comments, Last at 03 Oct 2010, 10:09pm by ThomasL

Comments

1
by zlionsfan :: Thu, 09/02/2010 - 5:31pm

Well, his two-year combined POE suggests he's playing like an elite recruit ... but ugh. Five straight games completing less than 55% of his passes, against Wisconsin (41st in S&P+ pass defense), Purdue (15th), Minnesota (36th), New Mexico State (64th), and Penn State (9th) ... OK, the two top-15 S&P+ pass defenses, that I can see, but the rest, particularly New Mexico State, ugh.

USC (28th) was another game below 60%, as was the regular-season finale against Michigan (49th). And this was after a season where he had only three games below 60%, Ohio U (just 2 attempts) and Michigan again (45th in 2008), plus the bowl game against Texas (3rd).

I guess there is a case for looking at his entire career as a whole and using that as a positive sign, but I would be more concerned about his struggles with accuracy last season. If they can't teach that at the next level, Pryor may need to take a crash course soon.

2
by speedegg :: Fri, 09/03/2010 - 12:46pm

I agree, the Marshall game aside I want to see what Pryor does against a better defense. One of my buddies was at last years' Ohio St-USC game and thought that Pryor was confused by USC's defense (and the occasional double-eagle front), didn't have a good feel for the timing or touch on passes. I definitely want to see what he does against Miami.

3
by ThomasL :: Sun, 10/03/2010 - 10:09pm

Pryor's performance through game 4 was excellent. Against Illinois (rated 1 against the run but 88 against the pass), after Pryor's return from his leg injury, Ohio State ran 22 times to 4 passes, with Herron running 19 times. Now Herron can take a lot of punishment, but last week against EMU, six (six!) players had better yards per carry. Pryor, since the Purdue game in 2009 (5 turnovers) has been able to find the second and third receiver consistently. 65% completions YTD, 12 TD, 3 INT. Ranked 15th in the nation, and 6th (6th!) in the Big Ten at 161. Of course, Persa of Northwestern leads the Big Ten in QB efficiency at 184, and is on everybody's short list of Heisman candidates (just kidding!). Persa is 3rd in the nation in completions with 108, behind only Moinz of Hawaii with 131 completions and Chappell of the perennial passing Indiana team at 116. Persa does lead the nation with 79% completions and 10 TD vs 2 INT in 136 attempts, against 85 SOS (vs Boise States 90 SOS).

Pryor at Illinois: 9-16 for 76 yards, 3 sacks, 2 TD, 1 INT. Pryor gained more in two rushes (66 and 35 yards) than 16 passes, against the number one ranked team against the run. An evil offense would run Pryor in an 11-yard shotgun with four receivers and Herron run/pass blocking and catching screen passes. Mismatch every play. In last year's game against Iowa (who had very good defense - 15th against the run, 2nd against the pass), Pryor completed 5-10 yard passes all day.