Will Terrelle Pryor Ever Start a Game for the Oakland Raiders?

Terrelle Pryor was never expected to start right away when the Oakland Raiders drafted him in last year's supplemental draft. But will he ever?

The 22-year-old currently finds himself third on the Raiders depth chart, behind a pair of California-bred signal-callers in Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. That order of things seems natural, perhaps since these two found themselves in an identical 1-2 pecking order in 2002, when both were playing together at USC.

Each competed for national championships. Each was was a top-10 pick in the NFL draft.

But their careers after their stints as Men of Troy could not have been more divergent. While Palmer flourished in Cincinnati (even entering the conversation with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as an elite quarterback at one point), Leinart struggled in Arizona, losing his job to an aging Kurt Warner and watching the Arena League alumnus take his team to a Super Bowl.

Pryor left his college program in virtual ruin, as his involvement (among others) in a memorabilia scandal at Ohio State cost him the balance of his college eligibility and the job and reputation of his head coach. Pryor fled Columbus in July and put himself up in the supplemental draft for any team willing to sacrifice a future draft pick on him.

As it turned out, the Raiders were game with a third-rounder.

One could argue that Palmer—acquired in a rare midseason trade with the Bengals—was acquired as hastily as Pryor, if not more so. Leinart, now on his third team in seven years, might best serve Pryor as a cautionary tale. 

Another issue facing Pryor is that he was acquired by the previous administration. Current Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has no loyalty to the quarterback taken in last year's supplemental draft.

Pryor's long-term value to McKenzie remains a mystery.


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