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Texans Director Of Pro Personnel Brian Gardner Says Terrelle Pryor Is A Project

Terrelle Pryor’s statistics make him one of the greatest quarterbacks in Ohio State history, but those numbers won’t necessarily translate to instant greatness at the pro level. “I’m not a big fan of his mechanics, and I haven’t been real impressed with his accuracy,” Texans director of pro personnel Brian Gardner told Sporting News.

“I saw him sail some balls. He struggles with deep ball consistency and touch and ball placement.” Pryor, who would have been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season, announced this week that he was giving up the rest of his college eligibility and subsequently rejected a contract offer from the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who own his CFL rights.

“He just said he’s not interested in the Canadian Football League,” Larry James, Pryor’s attorney, told ESPN. “Obviously, the offer was not sufficient to whet his taste buds.” Pryor is hungry to play in the NFL — he hopes to be selected in the league’s supplemental draft, assuming there is one during the lockout — but he doesn’t compare to the rookies in recent years who were ready to start immediately in the NFL. Gardner said Pryor’s skill level right now is on a par with some third-string quarterbacks in the NFL.

“I don’t think there’s any question,” Gardner said. “He’s big, fast and athletic. From what I see, he has plenty of arm strength and all that stuff. He’s got enough tools to work with if you’re comparing him to some of the third-string quarterbacks around the league. I just don’t know what the mental makeup is. And, of course, you always have to answer the character and intangible issues.” Some people are comparing Pryor to Cam Newton, the former Auburn quarterback who was the first player picked in April’s NFL draft, but Gardner doesn’t see it. “They’re just totally different in terms of talent level,” Gardner said.

“Even though Newton was a one-year, big-time college starter, you see a bigger repertoire of throws from him. He’s got touch, he’s got zip, he’s got good long ball accuracy. His mechanics are better. “I think Pryor’s accuracy issues are really going to be something that have to be coached up and worked with.”

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