COULD IT BE?!?!?!?!

Posted September 01, 2013

THERE was never any secret that I favored Terrelle Pryor to be the Raider's starter, and though Matt Flynn has grown on me, I still want Pryor out there. Perhaps I may get my wish.

Reggie McKenzie has decided to cut 4th round pick Tyler Wilson, and to me that signals that Pryor is getting the nod. Here's why:

1) The Raiders are a work in progress. What we're building is in the future not in the present. Pryor at 24 is younger than Flynn at 28. Pryor also clearly has more upside.

2) There was no practical reason to cut Wilson. When he was drafted as a 4th round pick, it was clear he would be a project QB, so jettisoning him says that they either don't feel he has the upside, or that resources (read: time and energy) are going to be invested elsewhere.

3) Wilson was drafted with the idea (at least in Reggie's head) that Flynn would be the starter. There were doubts in some people's heads in Oakland if Pryor could be a starter, and the tea leaves said that the team was looking for a reason to cut Pryor with Wilson cast as that reason. Instead not only did Pryor outplay Wilson, he outplayed Flynn as well. Now that it looks like Pryor will stick (to say the least), so if you bench Flynn you don't need both Wilson and Matt McGloin. If they were still benching Pryor, maybe they hedge their bet by keeping 4, but there's no sense in that hedge with Flynn as your back-up.

While I hate the idea of a wasted 4th round draft pick, I also love the idea of the message it sends to NEXT YEAR'S crop. On most teams if you come in 5th round or higher, you already have a leg up over very old veterans, late round draft picks and the undrafted. Especially if you're a QB. Third rounders and earlier are almost bulletproof, but fourthies can usually stick for a year or so if they can tread water. Not in Oakland. 2014 Draft class, you have been warned.

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