Ohio St. Buckeyes QB Terrelle Pryor has been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season, along with four teammates, for selling property on the free market. Though he's likely to skip what's left of his senior season and enter the 2011 NFL Draft, which would not be an unreasonable move, it might be a better idea for him to stick around.
He'll be drafted either way, but waiting a year could mean the difference between becoming a third-round package quarterback on a team with an entrenched starter or going to a team looking for a first-rounder to turn into a franchise quarterback.
Mocking The Draft, our college football scoutin' community, finds serious flaws in Pryor's reads, mechanics, and timing. Plus Pryor has played in a very simple and conservative offense. While at least one team's scouts were able to look past even more concerning technique issues with Tim Tebow, the book on Tebow was also four years strong, not three. And he'd demonstrated a willingness to change his game somewhat rather than lobby to change the team's offense to suit his preferences, as Pryor has done.
What are NFL scouts to make of a college player who wishes he played in an even more collegiate system?
Besides, if the remaining Buckeyes are able to hold down the fort against Miami and/or Michigan State without Pryor in the lineup, he could still lead them to a reasonably successful season, even a success by Ohio State's standards. A strong finish would put him among the program's career passing leaders, in addition to showing NFL scouts another half-season worth of film and giving the suspension a year's distance.
Even if Pryor were prepared to play pro football, character concerns would limit his draft prospects. And while selling something that belonged to him doesn't really fit anybody's definition of a character flaw, this is still the NFL we're talking about.
For more on Pryor, visit Along The Olentangy.