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Terrelle Pryor Fantasy Football Stock Profile: WR1 Upside with Redskins

Terrelle Pryor

Position: Wide Receiver

Former Team: Cleveland Browns

New Team: Washington Redskins

Movement Summary

In arguably the top fantasy upgrade of free agency, Terrelle Pryor departed from purgatory in Cleveland and entered a potential fantasy oasis with the Washington Redskins on a one-year, $6 million dollar contract.  Due to massive ‘Surrounding Talent’ and ‘Coaching Scheme’ upgrades, Pryor is in a prime position to maximize his immense physical gifts in his new home.  Should all the dominoes fall properly, a top-12 fantasy campaign is well within Pryor’s reach. Check out his Fantasy Stock Profile for more:

Talent: 9/10

From a purely physical standpoint, Pryor’s among the NFL’s most intimidating size/speed mismatches: this freak stands at a towering 6’5″ with a solid 230 pound frame, and can burn down the field with a 4.38 second 40-yard dash. Insane. Additionally, thanks to a basketball background (ala Randy Moss and Antonio Gates), Pryor possesses an innate leaping and “boxing out” ability.

Of course, measurables don’t guarantee NFL success, especially at a position like wide receiver that requires so much finesse, precision, and timing in route running — in addition to hands.  Just ask Cordarelle Patterson.  Yet, in less than two full years as a full-time wideout, Pryor is already showing a strong grasp of the receiving nuances that’ll eventually allow him to flourish.  Showing dedication to this craft this past offseason, Pryor practiced with and sought out the advice of one of the only NFL players that can match his physical skill set: Randy Moss.

The translation was apparent. Football Outsiders did a fantastic film breakdown of how uncannily natural Pryor comes across throughout the entire route tree, despite his inexperience. Some highlights:

 His size and athleticism are now being showcased by impressive ball skills, precise footwork, and aggression in his routes. He isn’t clumsy. He’s not awkward. He doesn’t fight the football or struggle to adjust when a pass isn’t perfectly thrown. Defensive backs can’t box him out or predict his route based on how he releases from the line of scrimmage. Pryor is what he told us he would be: a legitimate NFL receiver…

He’s not showing off the lack of comfort you would expect from such an inexperienced receiver. Being a natural athlete helps, but what matters more is that Pryor acts without thinking. This is not only important for running routes, but for adjusting to the football and recognizing coverages.

One of the big concerns about Pryor converting to receiver so late in his life was going to be his ability to catch the ball. He has proven to be a consistent hands catcher even though he has had a couple of drops. He has also proven to have a wide catch radius that extends around his body and functions in different situations.

If, unlike me, you don’t enjoy reading hundreds of words about first steps and catch radiuses, just check out last year’s highlight tape. You’ll see a guy with the speed to go deep, the leaping ability to make the contested catch, and the quick feet to dominate on the quick routes in the intermediate game.

In short, Pryor flashed true alpha WR1 talent. He possesses a bonafide WR1 body and skill set, and has rapidly developed the nuances of the position in less than two years; to think he could (and likely will) continue to mature and develop… *gasping face emoji*

Opportunity  + Usage: 8/10

With previous top wideouts DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon both heading to new homes, Washington became the ULTIMATE landing spot for Terrelle Pryor.  Indeed, Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder are around to dominate the middle of the field, but the Redskins have lacked that bonafide alpha WR out wide.  With the aforementioned physical gifts, Pryor will have every opportunity to fill this void in Washington.

Working against Pryor are Kirk Cousins’ high-percentage tendencies, which play more in the favor of the aforementioned Reed and Crowder.  Additionally, Josh Doctson still was drafted with this alpha outside WR role in mind, and could siphon targets with health and development.  This is a crowded corps with a quarterback who won’t force the ball, meaning target showers are far from guaranteed, if unlikely.  Still, Pryor could certainly lead the team in targets, especially considering…

Coaching Scheme: 9/10

Over the past four seasons, head coach Jay Gruden’s offenses have ranked 8th, 11th, 11th, and 2nd in NFL Passing Yards.  Additionally, in five out of six seasons as a head coach or offensive coordinator, Gruden’s WR1 has easily topped 1,000 yards.  Yes, three of those seasons featured the elite A.J. Green, but, as a reminder, Pryor drips with even more athleticism than the Bengals stud. Whether or not Pryor will be used as Gruden’s next Green remains to be seen, but, at minimum, the head coach is a creative play-caller who schemes to his team’s strengths, and loves taking to the air.

Surrounding Talent: 8/10

Here’s where Pryor’s fantasy stock score received the biggest offseason upgrade…a pretty obvious statement considering he leaves Cleveland’s six-quarterback carousel from hell and joins Kirk Cousins — who nearly topped 5,000 yards just one season ago despite an injury-riddled cast. Pryor himself recognized this upgraded chance:

“I’d love the opportunity to play with Kirk. He’s a great quarterback… Washington was very aggressive in terms of wanting me to be on the team. I played with six quarterbacks last year, so I don’t think it will get that bad. Obviously, I would like to play with Kirk. I’d be an idiot if I didn’t believe that. He’s a great quarterback, and, hopefully, that happens.”

In fact, Pryor’s so eager to play with a legitimate signal caller that he’s already texting Cousins to get some offseason practice time in.  The chemistry and rapport between these two will be crucial to track this offseason, but getting started this early certainly is promising.

Additionally and as alluded to in the ‘Opportunity’/’Usage’ section, Pryor’s surrounded with a sturdy cast of complements who’ll keep defenses honest.  This does present risk, as Pryor might struggle emerging as the true go-to guy among a deep crew; yet, the former quarterback offers a skill set no one else on the team has, and Gruden has historically funneled targets to monster “X” wideouts.  All-in-all, Pryor has a real shot to be the top-dog in a talented corps with one of the NFL’s fastest rising quarterbacks.  A pretty ideal cast.

Risk: 6.5/10

Sure, some risk surrounds Pryor. What if his maturation halts? What if he and Cousins don’t mesh, and the quarterback’s high-percentage ways limit Pryor’s ceiling? What if Reed, Crowder, or even Doctson claim the top-target crown?

Yes, these questions are worth raising, but are likely to prove futile.

The upside if everything clicks far outweighs these risks. In a genuinely realistic best case, Pryor would bring a bonafide WR1 skill set into a pass-heavy, creative scheme that maximizes long, speedy weapons. Moreover, he’d be playing this “alpha” #1 target role with an ascending, top-10 QB talent who’s looking to crack 5,000 yards for the first time. Should this “top target of a high-quality QB” narrative play out, Pryor would be a near-lock for a top 12-15 wide receiver finish, with sneaky top-7 upside.

Overall Stock Score: 40.5 / 50, B 

Ceiling Projection: 95 Receptions – 1,200 yds – 12 TDs

Floor Projection: 60 Receptions – 850 Yards – 7 TDs

Bottom Line: With significant surrounding talent (re: Cousins) and scheme upgrades, Pryor carries real WR1 breakout candidate, and is well-worth a look as a huge-ceiling Round 4 investment.

2017 Predicted Stat Line: 85 Receptions – 1,100 Yards – 9 TDs

We used this formula to nail David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliott in 2016. Check back for more Fantasy Stock Profiles throughout the off-season to stay ahead of your fantasy football league.

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