Journeyman and now former quarterback Terrelle Pryor has recently announced that he will attempt to latch on to a new team as a wide receiver after getting cut from the Cincinnati Bengals. Drafted in 2011 by the Oakland Raiders with the final supplemental pick, he has had a rough go thus far. As I’ve witnessed firsthand, he certainly has had the athleticism and speed to excel in almost any position. Owning the longest rushing touchdown by a quarterback (93 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers), he has shown in several instances the “immeasurables” necessary to succeed, most importantly some break-away speed.
The question I have is: can Terrelle catch at a pro level? He must believe (or know) so, if he thinks he can make a transition like this.
Terrelle Pryor and Other Position Changes in the NFL
Here’s a list of a few other examples of teams who may benefit from a position change:
Marcel Reece FB – WR
The Oakland Raiders have had trouble nailing down a viable passing game for years. When Zach Miller went to Seattle, it left a gaping hole in the receiving core that to this day hasn’t been filled. There is no doubt that they needed to worry about their continuing quarterback dilemma. Now that they installed Derek Carr (their second year rookie exhibiting some upside) as a starter, he has been labeled the “quarterback of the future.”
Meanwhile, the only constant on the offense over the years has been super-versatile fullback/tight end/wide receiver, Marcel Reece. He has already lined up in the slot and had some positive moments. Even after acquiring Amari Cooper in the first round and picking up Michael Crabtree from the San Francisco 49ers, you can never have enough weapons for a young gunslinger like Carr. With his height, speed and increasingly reliable hands, who knows what he can be capable of? Reece may be a leading receiver reflecting some double coverage scenarios or injuries later on.
J.J. Watt DE – TE
This wouldn’t be so much of a position change but a realization that JJ Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans, is a serious threat (almost as much as Rob Gronkowski) when placed at the tight end position. He (Watt) caught three touchdowns last season and is easily the most exciting red-zone option in the whole league. He should have double digit touchdowns in future seasons or at the very least serve as a giant decoy for the offense.
There is nothing more enjoyable than a cheering on the big guy makin’ the little guy moves, topping it off with an epic tootsie-roll like touchdown dance. These times are reminiscent of “The Refrigerator” William Perry who experienced a position refresher as well. When the 85’ Chicago Bears decided to take Perry his rookie season, a 6’2”, 330 lb. defensive tackle, they put him in as a running back for goal line situations. Like J.J., he had three offensive touchdowns that season; two rushing and one receiving.
Tim Tebow QB – K
I know what you’re thinking, Tebow should be a fullback or tight end… I think he lacks the speed, or sheer want to do so (being the third-string quarterback for the Eagles). Obviously getting him to improve the kicking ability would be a feat, but when I see Timmy, I think of a more athletic George Blanda. He was a quarterback/kicker who had a 26-year career and owned the NFL scoring record for almost 30 years.
Blanda played in Super Bowl II with the Oakland Raiders and was a first ballot Hall of Famer. Tim Tebow might not develop into a record breaking kicker but every time he’d line up for the field goal on fourth and short, teams would have to face a serious possibility of a fake. He has enough strength, quickness and after first contact willpower to make a short pass or rush for a few yards every time. It might help revolutionize the approach on kickers and field goal philosophy in its entirety.
Clay Matthews OLB – ILB
This one is more of a cop out because Matthews did play the inside for longer stretches of time last year including the playoffs, but his play stepped up to another level even for the formerly named All-Pro. Lawrence Taylor aside, the bulk of the greatest linebackers are ones that played in the middle. With his explosive speed and leadership capabilities, Matthews has huge potential in the position change, helping out a struggling, recently mediocre Green Bay Packers defense.
Kenny Bell WR – S
Ever since Bell laid out this defender in the game against Wisconsin, it has been called “one of the greatest college blocks of all time.”
Of course, he owns all the receiving records in Nebraska… and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may very well find Kenny Bell to be an upper echelon receiver for their new quarterback Jameis Winston. The Bucs were ranked 25th in defense last year, and need a spark in the defensive backfield too. If Kenny Bell could de-cleat homies over the middle like that, it would be worthy of giving it a try. Plus, he has the hair of a young Troy Polamalu.
Tom Brady QB – Cheerleader?
It wouldn’t be a 2015 offseason article if Brady wasn’t in it… and yes he’s back in the public eye. It’s about dancing this time?!? At a ring ceremony, the New England quarterback (amongst his teammates) was recorded getting “jiggy” with it, and the internet ate it up.
He should be given an extra week on his suspension for those moves. Or maybe as a real punishment, force him to sit down on the sidelines wearing a cheerleader outfit during the first four games.