Usually logic–pure, simple, plain logic–has to trump a strong motivation or desire. Logic is not welcome in Oakland, a place where a defense anchoring cornerback is shipped out of town because of some obscure incentives embedded in his contract.
We’re not sure exactly where logic was when the Raiders used a third-round pick today in the supplemental draft to grab Terrelle Pryor. It was probably discarded when Al Davis was stirred from his daily afternoon slumber and shown the breakdown of Pryor’s pre-draft workout last week in which he widened the eyes of 17 scouts with a 4.36 time in the 40-yard dash.
Pryor also completed 22 of his 29 pass attempts, and three of those incompletions were drops. The kid can throw a football, and he can throw it quite far. There was never any doubt about that. The concern lied with his footwork and ability to adjust to a pro-style offence, two common worries for quarterbacks who largely relied on their legs and running ability to do the heavy lifting after their first read breaks down.
If the Raiders still had all or even most of their top picks in the 2012 draft, this would be a much shorter and less snarky post. I would probably discuss how the pressure is now solidly on Jason Campbell’s shoulders, despite the fact that when healthy he was actually effective last season, especially in the home stretch when he threw just three interceptions over his last six appearances. I’d say that Campbell has to firmly establish himself with an unproven talent who still has high upside breathing down his neck, and I’d say that given the lack of promising youth under center in recent years in Oakland, a third-round pick is a reasonable price for Pryor.
And I’d say all of that if the Raiders didn’t trade away their 2012 second-round pick to New England last April, and their 2012 fourth-round pick to Washington for Campbell. Now crazy Al and his crazy love for crazy draft speed has just two picks in the first five rounds in next year’s draft.
Suddenly it’s not a harmless flier the Raiders just spent on Pryor. The price is steep, and so is the risk.