The Cleveland Browns may have used abundant resources during the past draft in order to address their anemic wide receiver position—they drafted no less than four wide receivers, including first-rounder Corey Coleman—there is no guarantee that all of them make the 53-man roster, even after the release of veteran Brian Hartline.
There is, of course, the fixture in Andrew Hawkins, though he was limited to just eight games last year, and there is still the prospect of Josh Gordon being reinstated at some point during the offseason. Taylor Gabriel is also looking to retain his roster spot; but so is yet another returning wide receiver.
Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, once a Heisman hopeful at quarterback for Ohio State, spent part of last season on the Browns’ 53-man roster though he saw very limited activity. Some of that little activity happened to come against the Pittsburgh Steelers during which he recorded just his second reception of his career, a 42-yard vertical route.
Pryor has not exactly forged the path that another former Ohio State quarterback has done since in Braxton Miller, who spent his final season with the Buckeyes honing his craft at wide receiver, which turned him into a high draft pick and very real chances to succeed.
Instead, Pryor was suspended from Ohio State and chose to declare for the supplemental draft in 2011, where the Raiders selected him in the third round, as a quarterback. He played in 18 games, completing 170 of 302 passes for 1953 yards, nine touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Oh, and he ran for a 93-yard touchdown, again, against the Steelers, in 2013. He likes to embarrass the Steelers, apparently.
He’s also now looking to embarrass some cornerbacks, which is a far cry from about a month and a half ago, when new Browns head coach Hue Jackson was not even yet ready to commit to where he would have Pryor playing.
Pryor resisted the change to wide receiver for many years, but has finally learned to embrace it in the hopes of resurrecting any chance of carving out a successful NFL career. He recently told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com that he believes he is “10 times” better than where he was last season.
Talking about the night-and-day difference between what he is able to discern from film now compared to last year, Pryor said, “it amazes me”, calling the time that he has spent breaking down routes with his position coach “awesome”.
Listed at 6’4” and 233 pounds, he posted a 4.38 40-yard dash time at his 2011 Pro Day, though his time has ranged back to 4.54 and several places in between. Suffice it to say, however, that Pryor possesses the physical assets of an NFL wide receiver.
What it comes down to now is whether or not he has the mental assets necessary to harness his physical abilities, now that he has committed to the position. I do believe there are many interested in seeing whether or not he can succeed, as not a few commenters suggested that the Steelers sign him a time or two.