Terrelle Pryor had an unexpected and dramatic breakout year in 2016. In his first full season since switching from QB to WR, Pryor finished the campaign with 77 receptions, 1,007 yards and 4 TDs. For a WR in their first season, that is some feat. He achieved that while battling finger and hamstring injuries through the year, and catching passes from 5 different QBs. The unstable situation in Cleveland meant Pryor had to adapt to catching passes from a mix of Cody Kessler, Josh McCown, Robert Griffin, Kevin Hogan, and Charlie Whitehurst.
Despite thriving in a less than ideal situation, I see quite a lot of doubt as to whether Pryor can repeat in 2016, with many in the dynasty community questioning whether 2016 was a fluke. In my mind, that is ridiculous and I firmly believe Pryor will be in the conversation as a borderline WR1 in 2017.
The obvious reason as to why I expect Pryor to continue to impress is his improved counterpart under center. Pryor joined the Washington Redskins in free agency, which means he has the pleasure of playing with Kirk Cousins…. rather than the garbage in Cleveland last season. Coming off that back of more than 9,000 yards in the last 2 seasons, Pryor could become Cousins’ new favorite toy. In one of the more pass happy teams in the league, Pryor could immediately assert himself as the main target on the team following the departures of Garcon and Jackson. In 2016, Kirk Cousins upped his deep attempts from 67 the year before to 82, his completions from 25 to 39, his deep yardage from 807 to 1,359, and his deep touchdowns from six to 11. Cousins also led all 2016 QBs in 20+ yard pass completions.
Given Pryor’s elite physical profile, I can’t help but believe that Cousins will be routinely hitting Pryor deep in 2017. We all know that Pryor is athletically gifted, but many people underestimate just how explosive he is. The closest resemblance to his physical profile in terms of height/weight/speed and burst, is Demaryius Thomas. At 6’4” 233 pounds and capable of running a 4.41 40 yard dash, Pryor’s speed score is in the 99th percentile in the NFL. The sky really is the limit when you combine a QB with a solid arm and a profile like that on the outside. Speaking in camp, Kirk Cousins vowed to target Pryor downfield heavily this year. He followed that up by stating he intends to get Pryor as many touches as possible during the season. If you combine the current Kirk Cousins at QB with a Demaryius Thomas type receiver in his prime, most people would be predicting 1,500 yards.
Obviously, I understand that because he’s relatively new to the position so he may not understand the nuances associated with it, but when he’s making catches like this in OTAs, I’m ready to buy. Moreover, he seems to have a learning attitude. To make the position change in the first place shows that he’s willing to change, adapt and learn. He has also spent the offseason training with Randy Moss and Antonio Brown, so I’m sure they could certainly teach him a thing or two.
All signs point to Pryor having another big year. Even his former WRs coach, Al Saunders, vowed that Pryor would make the pro bowl this season. With an ADP of 53, it amazes me to see Pryor below Mike Williams, Jamison Crowder, Devante Parker and close to Sterling Shepard…given his potential elite production. If you are doubting Pryor, I strongly urge you to reconsider your evaluation. If Pryor follows up 2016 with an even better 2017, we may see his price rise further, so now may be your last chance to buy.