What Went Wrong for Terrelle Pryor in Oakland?

The Oakland Raiders traded quarterback Terrelle Pryor to the Seattle Seahawks for a seventh-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft on Monday. Pryor was late owner Al Davis’ final draft pick, a third-round pick in the 2011 supplemental draft. The Raiders ultimately forfeited what would have been the 78th overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft for Pryor.

Raider Nation had hoped that Pryor could develop into something special. For a brief period, he was. It’s as if hope became reality doused in lighter fluid and everything went up in flames with a simple spark. Pryor is now just the latest in a long line of busts at the quarterback position for the Raiders.

What went wrong for Pryor in Oakland? Why didn’t things work out for him in the silver and black?

For starters, Pryor was set up for failure. Even if he ultimately proved to be missing a few traits required to be a good starting quarterback, circumstances outside of his control may have prevented him from developing.


The Situation

Pryor was the consolation prize for the Raiders losing out on the quarterback they had coveted in the 2011 NFL draft—Colin Kaepernick. Giving up a third-round pick for Pryor should have made him the quarterback of the future, but the Raiders never treated him that way.

Part of the problem was that Pryor was selected just three weeks before the start of the 2011 season and then was suspended for the first five weeks. Al Davis never did get to see Pryor in a regular-season game because he died just before the Raiders’ Week 5 game against the Houston Texans.

In Davis, Pryor lost his biggest advocate, a man that would ensure he was developed and his athleticism used. When the Raiders lost starting quarterback Jason Campbell in Week 6 of the 2011 season, the Raiders didn’t even consider Pryor as a realistic option. 

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