2016 Cleveland Browns roster analysis: The wide receivers

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Terrelle Pryor 

Age: 27 

Experience: 5 seasons (1 at WR) 

Contract Status: Free Agent this offseason (2017) 

The Browns signed Pryor in the summer of 2015. He made the final 53-man roster coached by Mike Pettine. However, he was released a few days later after making the roster. Pryor remained a free agent after a few tryouts throughout the 2015 season. The Browns re-signed Pryor in December and he played in the final three games catching one pass for 42 yards.

Under the new regime led by Hue Jackson, the Browns extended a one-year qualifying offer to Pryor. Jackson was the Raiders head coach in 2011 at the time the Raiders drafted Pryor. Additionally, in 2015 when Jackson was offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals, Pryor participated in mini camp as a quarterback for the Bengals. Hue Jackson had familiarity with Pryor as a person and as a player going into his first offseason as head coach.

In Pryor’s second offseason as a wide receiver, he had a better feel and comfort level for the position. It was evident in training camp, that he had a better understanding of the route tree and could execute routes easier. He also improved getting off the line of scrimmage, learning how opposing defensive backs play. After showing his steady improvement throughout camp and the preseason, Pryor was officially listed as a starting receiver alongside rookie Corey Coleman.

Following Corey Coleman’s broken hand suffered after Week 2, Pryor was the team’s undisputed number one receiver. It was with Coleman sidelined that Pryor had his breakout game in week three in Miami. Pryor was the Browns do-it-all playmaker that week, as he caught eight passes for 144 yards. Coach Jackson also used him in a special wildcat package when quarterback injuries were piling up. He rushed for 21 yards and a score on four carries while adding 35 yards through the air.

Pryor continued to prove all season long that his transition to receiver was no hoax but he was a legitimate threat to opposing defensive secondaries. What made Pryor so successful was that he learned how to use his size and speed against defenders. At 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, he is substantially bigger than opposing defensive backs.

Pryor also has elite speed which gave the Browns a weapon vertically or in open space. With his size and athleticism he is a red zone nightmare with the ability to locate the ball in the air and win at the point of attack. The Browns force-fed him as he was targeted a team high 140 times, which was 12th most in the league.

Pryor is a free agent and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract. It has been reported he wants money similar to other top receivers starting at the $10 million range.

2016 Stats: 

  Tgt    Rec  Yds     TD 

 140    77   1,007    4 

2017 Outlook:

Pryor developed into the team’s best receiver this season and was counted on to be a large part of their offensive production. The Browns have found a diamond in the rough with Pryor as a receiver. He should be the top free agent priority for the team as he is a solid second receiver with the potential to be a number one. Both sides have shown interest on getting a deal done and he should remain in orange and brown next season.

As Pryor keeps learning the in’s and out’s of the position the sky is the limit for his development. Heading into next season the Browns can count on Pryor to be a starting receiver, building on this season’s success and produce accordingly.

A. In his first full season as a wide receiver Pryor became the top playmaker on the Browns offense. He also accomplished a feat only seven Browns receivers in history have done, surpassing 1,000 yards in a single-season.. WR, Cleveland Browns. . Terrelle Pryor