The NFL on Thursday declared Pryor eligible for the NFL's supplemental draft, which will take place Monday after being postponed (because of Pryor's situation). The former Ohio State quarterback and his legal team went to great lengths to show that his situation with Ohio State had indeed changed, a requirement for any player wishing to enter the supplemental draft. Pro football is a business, and if Pryor can provide the services an NFL team needs, he should be given the opportunity to work. The NFL is already being praised for suspending Pryor. From the NFL's memo to its teams:
Pryor made decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft. Those actions included failing to cooperate with the NCAA and hiring an agent in violation of NCAA rules, which resulted in Ohio State declaring him ineligible to continue playing college football. Pryor then applied to enter the NFL after the regular draft. Pryor had accepted at the end of the 2010 college football season a suspension for the first five games of the 2011 season for violating NCAA rules. Pryor will be ineligible to practice prior to or play in the first five games of the NFL regular season after he signs."
Let's not forget what the supplemental draft is: a chance for players whose eligibility situation changed after the regular NFL draft in April to earn money from teams willing to pay them.
It seems like the NFL is throwing the NCAA a bone at a very difficult time for college sports' governing body.
For Pryor, the suspension likely isn't a huge deal.
Pryor tweeted Thursday morning: "God bless and thanks for support! As first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor has been deemed eligible to enter the 2011 supplemental draft. The draft will be held Monday, August 21, after a brief delay caused by the NFL's debate about Pryor's potential right to enter the NFL.
Whatever problems the NFL may have had about Pryor doing so have apparently been mitigated by an interesting draft precedent — Pryor will serve the five-game suspension he would have served at Ohio State in 2011 for his new NFL team. The NFL informed its teams that Pryor "made decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL draft." These included Pryor's failure to cooperate with the NCAA in its investigation of Ohio State, and hiring an agent (Drew Rosenhaus) in violation of NCAA rules.
Pryor left Ohio State after his part in a scandal than involved impermissible benefits given to players over a number of years. The NFL isn't beholden to carry forward any NCAA punishments, and Pryor hasn't committed any NFL violations. As NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang notes, there are six players entering this year's supplemental draft: Western Carolina cornerback Torez Jones, Georgia running back Caleb King, Lindenwood University/Allen Wranglers (IFL) defensive end Keenan Mace(notes), North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo, Pryor and Northern Illinois safety Tracy Wilson.
Through three seasons at Ohio State, Pryor completed 477 passes in 783 attempts (a 60.9 completion percentage) for 6,177 yards, 57 touchdowns with 26 interceptions. Most draft experts anticipate that Pryor will go in the later rounds. Teams that spend draft picks in one year's supplemental draft will forfeit the pick in that same round in the next year's draft.
The Shutdown Scouting Report: Terrelle Pryor
Dangerous player on the run, especially when running counter and play-action. Much better throwing when he's rolling right; Pryor keeps his eyes downfield and understands timing. Right now, Pryor is a single-pitch pitcher with some potential; a good running quarterback with some natural physical advantages. The NFL has rescheduled its supplemental draft for Monday and also made former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor eligible to be selected. New York, NY (Sports Network) - The NFL has rescheduled its supplemental draft for Monday and also made former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor eligible to be selected.
It was postponed, in part, to allow the NFL more time to reconsider Pryor's status.
The NFL eventually made Pryor eligible for the draft, but ruled that he cannot play or practice for any team that signs him for the first five games of the 2011 season. According to the league, Pryor "made decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft. In addition to Pryor, five other players will be eligible for the draft.