Cleveland has unexpectedly turned into the nexus of the sporting world, but the “Believeland” championship mojo hasn’t found its way to the Browns. At 0-7 and having already churned through six different quarterbacks, the Browns look as hapless as they ever have since the city reclaimed its NFL franchise in 1999. But former Ohio State Buckeye star Terrelle Pryor is providing some semblance of hope—just not at the position that he expected.
The nation’s top high school recruit in 2008 and a Rose Bowl MVP-winning quarterback at OSU, Pryor found himself on the NFL’s fringes a few years back. His early-career QB work didn’t inspire confidence (9/12 TD-to-INT ratio with the Oakland Raiders), and he filtered through Seattle, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and finally Cleveland, with several unsuccessful tryouts for other clubs in between. He finally relented and gave up his QB dream with the Browns, shifting to wide receiver. In record time, Pryor has translated his 4.4-second 40-yard speed and Megatron-like size (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) to his new position.
Pryor ranks in the league’s top 25 in receiving yards despite Cleveland’s QB carousel, and he went all Slash on the Dolphins in September by making plays in the receiving, rushing and passing game. For a talent-starved team that no longer features Josh Gordon and is still developing 2016 first-rounder Corey Coleman, Pryor has been a quick study and a scouting success story. Pryor might understandably be a little travel-weary at this point, but he wouldn’t mind a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl.