After a Switch to Receiver, Terrelle Pryor is Only Beginning

Gif Breakdowns, NFL

Mansur Shaheen

Despite a treacherous 1-15 season, which started on a 14-game losing streak, Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor shined this season. After transitioning from quarterback to wide receiver, Pryor became a dynamic play maker. Pryor caught 77 passes for just over 1,000 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2016, leading the team in every major receiving category. He even reached the end zone on his feet once.

Pryor’s main attribute is his athleticism. His speed and agility makes him a great route runner, allowing him to find space within the opposing secondary, and then having the ability to turn up field and add yards after the catch.

On this play, early during the Browns week 8 match up against the Jets, Pryor takes advantage of a large cushion given to him by Darrelle Revis.

After sprinting 15 yards down field, he quickly turns and breaks towards the sideline. This catches Revis flat footed as he comes back on his route, and makes an easy catch in space. Revis, doing everything he can to catch up, misses a tackle as Pryor turns up field and gains another 13 yards after the catch to get the Browns into the red zone.

During the Steelers week 11 matchup against the Steelers, Pryor made one his longest catches of the year.

Given a smaller cushion this time, Pryor used his agility to get open. After running 7 yards down field, Pryor slightly pushed off to gain space, then faked a curl back towards the sideline. The defender stepped towards the sideline, then was caught flat footed when Pryor quickly turned up field.

He makes an adjustment to catch a poorly thrown ball, and avoids another tackle before going down.

His athleticism also makes him a threat on the occasional wildcat play.

On his longest run of the season, which came during the Browns week 3 game against the Dolphins, his best of the season, Pryor took a direct snap and used his speed to turn the corner.

After faking to Isiah Crowell, Pryor sprints towards his left, and after receiving a nice block to seal the edge, he still had one man to beat to turn up field. He makes a quick juke then cuts towards the sideline leaving a man in front of him on the ground. Pryor makes it to the sideline then turns up field for a 15 yard gain.

Even when he is not given much space to work with in front of him, Pryor can use his agility alone to find space for a quick catch.

Again against Revis, but given less room this time, Pryor makes a move towards the outside right off of the snap, then immediately breaks towards the middle and making an easy grab for an 18 yards.

Pryor is dangerous in single coverage, as he can take on any corner one on one. His is a great route runner, and somehow always manages to find himself space. The best way to cover him is to either double team him, or play a tight zone coverage to suppress him.

But even when he is picked up in a double team, Pryor still somehow miraculously makes plays.

On this play during the Browns week six game against the Titans, Pryor scored one of his two touchdowns on the day by making an impressive catch in the end zone.

The Browns receiver runs a fade route into the corner of the end zone, and picks up the attention of the deep safety as he turns towards the corner. Quarterback Cody Kessler for some reason ignores a shallower wide open receiver and tunnels in on Pryor despite being smothered by the defense. The ball is well thrown, though, and Pryor manages to jump higher than anyone else to make a touchdown catch.

His strength and ability make a better play on the ball came into play later in the same game, making a nice 14 yard grab with a defender draped over his back.

When his speed, agility and route running ability combine, Pryor can make incredible plays on poorly thrown balls, a skill especially useful on a team with quarterbacks as bad as the Browns.

Later on during the Steelers game, Pryor made this catch at the one yard line.

He ran a wheel route down the sideline, then slightly pushes off and comes to a quick stop to give himself space. The defender turns back towards Pryor, and Pryor jumps over him to catch an off-target pass. He comes down with it and fights two defenders to hold on before getting shoved out of bounds.

In his first year at wide out, Pryor impressed many and took off to break 1,000 yards on the season. The Browns had a lot of hype last off-season due to Pryor’s transition to wide out and the addition of Robert Griffin III. The hype was short lived, but there are a few bright spots on the roster.

There is still more for Pryor to work on this offseason, though. He is inconsistent and occasionally can disappear during games. Despite being the team’s leading receiver, Pryor failed to break 50 yards in 9 games this season, and only reached the end zone four times. Some of this may be a result of the Browns incompetence on offense in general, but it is still something to worry about down the line.

He had an impressive first year at wide out, though. And Terrelle Pryor has managed to emerge as the Browns full time WR1 in 2016, and his athleticism gives him potential to become one of the more feared receivers in the NFL in thee future, despite what Janoris Jenkins might think.


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