Does Terrelle Pryor remind you of anyone from New York Jets history? He should (cough…cough Braylon Edwards).
The New York Jets have a very intriguing wide receiver corps heading into the 2018 season. There are a lot of cogs, but no apparent true No. 1 wide receiver on this team.
Pryor, who will be 29 by the time the regular season rolls around, is seemingly entering his prime. He’s got the size (six-foot-six, 240-pounds) and the speed (ran a 4.38 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine) and, perhaps most importantly, the drive. He wants to prove the doubters wrong.
The Jets signed him to a one-year “prove it” deal. He has everything to gain and everything to lose. That’s exactly the mentality, the motivation, that the Jets want to see in their players.
Pryor, a former Big Ten champion as a quarterback for Ohio State, shares a ton of similarities with former Jets wideout Braylon Edwards, another Big Ten standout.
Both dominated the collegiate ranks, although Edwards did it as a wide receiver throughout the length of his career:
- Fred Biletnikoff Award (2004)
- Big Ten Most Valuable Player (2004)
- Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year (2004)
- Unanimous All-American (2004)
- Two-time First-team All-Big Ten (2003, 2004)
Pryor, meanwhile, racked up his own impressive list of honors.
- Big Ten Freshman of the Year (2008)
- Rose Bowl MVP (2010)
- Three-time All-Big Ten honorable mention (2008, 2009, 2010)
- Big Ten MVP runner-up (2010)
Edwards (six-foot-three, 211-pounds) isn’t quite as big as Pryor but ran a comparable 4.45 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
More than the speed and the collegiate affiliations and accolades, the reason I make this comparison is because of the fresh starts that both of these players got with the Jets.
“I believe coming here to a team that’s doing well with a new head coach that has them going in the right direction … is a fresh start and a clean slate,” Edwards told the Associated Press, via NFL.com, upon joining the Jets in 2009.
Edwards was a little younger (26) than Pryor will be will be when he first steps on the field for the Jets (29), but they have traveled similar paths.
After dealing with a myriad of off the field issues and lapses in concentration, Edwards restarted his career with the green and white and had the second-best year of his career in 2010, catching 53 passes for 904 yards and seven touchdowns.
Now with his fourth team since being taken in the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft by the Oakland Raiders, Terrelle Pryor has the same opportunity at a fresh start.
Pryor hasn’t had the off the field issues that Edwards did and, arguably, he has an even higher ceiling than his predecessor.
While he hasn’t been a wide receiver for long, his raw ability is undeniable. If the Jets can fix the quarterback situation (a huge if), then they may have finally found not only their franchise quarterback but a bonafide No. 1 wideout for years to come.