Since I'm the resident Ohio State blogger guy here, and the Vikings have an unsettled quarterback situation, and a certain former Ohio State quarterback just walked away from his senior year amid an ever unfolding scandal and is considering the NFL, I have to comment on an article I saw by Strib blogger Tim Rohan. For the right price, Rohan asserts, the Vikings should take a chance on Terrelle Pryor.
Normally, I'm pretty geeked when a former OSU player dons the Purple and Gold. Ohio State players have a long history of excellence as Vikings, from Jim Marshall, to Korey Stringer (Rest in Peace, big man) to Robert Smith, to Cris Carter, to the current all around best CB in the NFL, Antoine Winfield. This past April, Minnesota selected former OSU LB Ross Homan in the sixth round, and he immediately became the best pick the Vikings made besides Christian Ponder.
But if the Vikings use a supplemental draft pick on Terrelle Pryor, I will throw up in my mouth.
Please, follow me after the jump while I try to dissuade any of you from getting too enamored with Terrelle Pryor.
Rohan (who by the way is a student at Michigan, which should completely invalidate his entire column) starts out by asking a question:
If you could clone Joe Webb, would you do it?
If I could clone a guy like Joe Webb, you bet. If I could take Joe Webb's attitude and heart and transplant them into all 53 players, I am of the belief that the Minnesota Vikings would win the next three Super Bowls. I LOVE Joe Webb's attitude and work ethic.
But Tim, Terrelle Pryor is...well, let me paraphrase a great line from former Texas senator Lloyd Bentsen, a line he used during his Vice-Presidential debate with eventual VP Dan Quayle.
I know Joe Webb. Joe Webb is a quarterback on my team.
But Rohan continues:
Let me say this: the Vikings current quarterback situation is far from solved. There are a few viable candidates for the job, but neither Joe Webb nor Christian Ponder make a case for Minnesota to not add another possibility to the mix.
Enter the 6-foot-6, 230-plus pound quarterback who didn’t really reach his potential in college.
Wow, what a phenomenal idea! Let's have as our three quarterbacks a rookie, a second year guy who is still a raw project in many ways, and one of the most ethically challenged players to ever come out of college---under a cloud of scandal and disgrace--who couldn't reach his potential in a football factory like Ohio State.
So you'd rather have Pryor, as opposed to an established NFL veteran like Matt Hasselbeck or who can help mentor Webb and Ponder and teach them how to be an NFL quarterback?
Again I ask...REALLY??
But wait, there's more! Rohan talks about Pryor's mediocre performances in his losses, then talks about how he was pretty good otherwise. Which, in fairness, he was. But then he drops this paragraph of self-contradiction:
The Mel Kiper’s and Todd McShay’s of the world have already doomed Pryor’s chances of becoming a quarterback in the NFL. Pryor does make mistakes, especially against good competition, throwing 26 interceptions in three years — which ended up being one for every 30 passes Pryor attempted in college.
I just can’t get past the fact that there’s a dynamic quarterback waiting to happen somewhere in the deeper recesses of that prototype.
So somehow, someway, he will skip his senior season, enter the supplemental draft...and get better? I get that you think he's a project type guy, but that is the LAST thing the Vikings need at the QB position right now. The Vikings don't have time to wait to see if a prototype emerges from the deep recesses.
But Rohan plugs away:
And if my math is correct, two developmental quarterbacks with high upsides and low risks is better than just one (Joe Webb). There's more potential to go around.
That’s exactly what this move would represent an extremely high upside — especially with the potential for Pryor to play wide receiver or tight end — and potentially a late round pick as the only price.
Hmmm, you go to Michigan, and their math department produced one Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber, so let's not congratulate ourselves for being a Michigan math whiz (it's a joke people). But you argue how great it would be to have the potential at QB with Pryor, and then...in the very next sentence mind you...you say, essentially, 'but if that doesn't pan out he can play tight end or wide receiver'. Am I the only one who sees the irony in that? And maybe it's just me, but I think it would be tough to convert a guy who's been a QB, and hasn't had to hit or block someone on every play, to go do just that as a WR or TE.
Rohan finishes up by asking a very good question:
What happens when you back Terrelle Pryor into a corner?
Well, if his OSU career is any indication, he quits. The pressure got turned up, and he walked out on his team. That's the last thing the Vikings need.
And he's the last player the Vikings need.
And as a 6th or 7th round choice, I don't see the Vikings being able to sign him, anyway.
Because he'd have to take a pay cut. Allegedly.