Immediately following the 2013 NFL draft, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that veteran addition Matt Flynn would be starting at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders with rookie Tyler Wilson providing some training camp competition. Former supplemental pick Terrelle Pryor wasn’t really even in the conversation at that point.
Whether it has more to do with both Wilson and Flynn struggling isn’t really the point; Pryor seems to have gained ground in the quarterback competition at this point in training camp.
The likelihood that Pryor has improved his mechanics in his third training camp as a member of the Raiders could be a primary reason why he has impressed in training camp.
Raiders head coach Dennis Allen had the following to say late last month:
He’s worked extremely hard at it, and any time you get a talented player that works extremely hard, he’s going to get better…We’re doing some things with him to try and take advantage of his talents. He’s responding to that.
For his part, Pryor has been working on his mechanics away from the Raiders’ training facility in Napa, CA.
I never really knew how to throw a football before…I probably missed four or five throws out of 80, 85 throws today. I might ice my arm as a precaution tonight, but it feels great.
Oakland’s offense may be one of the least talented in the National Football League at this point. It only makes sense that the powers to be would look for someone to add a new dimension to the unit.
Pryor has the ability to run the read option or utilize the pistol this upcoming season. This could help stretch the defense and create open grass for Darren McFadden to run through. It could also enable Pryor, who possesses a strong arm, to find success over the top.
If the other options here are Flynn and Wilson, Oakland might not have much to lose by starting Pryor.
After all, 2013 doesn’t seem to be a season where the Raiders can plan on contending for a division crown or even a playoff spot. Why not go with the higher-upside player, who has improved leaps and bounds from a year go?
As it is, the job still appears to by Flynn’s to lose. At least it will make for an interesting preseason in Oakland.
Vincent Frank is an NFL featured columnist at Bleacher Report.
Vincent is the head sports editor at eDraft, co-host of eDraft Sports Radio (which airs every Monday and Wednesday from 3-6 p.m. ET) and a fantasy writer for Pro Football Focus. He’s also the news director here at PFC and co-host of Football Debate Central with Ryan Riddle8:00-9:30 every Wednesday.