It seems like there are a lot of people who are in love with Calvin Pryor. Professional scouts and analysts are talking him up as the best Safety in the class, and I don't need to tell you that there is a lot of love for him here on the Boards. But I'm just not seeing it? Don't get me wrong, I want to be in love with the guy. In fact, I'm mostly writing this in hopes that one of you who are hooked on him will convince me to be as well. But so far, I'm just not feeling it.
Now, I'm not saying that Pryor is no good, or that there isn't any good film on him, because obviously there is. However, I have a few major concerns that it doesn't seem like other people care about:
1) Can he cover?
I've watched some tape on Pryor, and very rarely does it seem like he is asked to actually play coverage. Terms like "Free Ranging" seem to get used a lot. As I understand it, the Louisville scheme didn't really ask him to play coverage all that much. So can he do it? What I am most tired of seeing on Sundays is the opposing QB throw it deep, and as the camera pans over you see a WR and not a single Cowboy anywhere on the screen. Will drafting Pryor fix this issue? Because I haven't seen much to suggest he can, and if he can't, why are we using a first round pick on him?
2) Can he tackle?
We all know that Pryor can hit. Hard. I've seen him just destroy some people with crushing (legal) hits. But what I haven't seen a lot of is good, fundamental technique. I don't see him wrap up a lot. It seems like he loves to just lower the shoulder and destroy people. There is merit in this. I loved watching Roy Williams just destroy people downfield, and obviously this style lends itself well to a playmaker, which Pryor most certainly is. But I also don't want a guy who is the "Safety" valve not wrapping guys up, leaving them free to pick up 20+ more yards. Maybe I'm paranoid, but for how much people are focusing on the intensity of his hits, I don't think enough is being made of the other side of that coin.
3) Will he get penalized?
The answer to this is yes, he will. But how many? I don't think he is a dirty player, but I think his bread and butter is the type of play that the NFL is trying to move away from. NFL officials are taught that when they are unsure if a play was illegal or not, throw the flag. With Pryor, the play happens so fast, and the impact is so huge, that I think the flag comes out. The league wants big, close-call hits to be penalized, and Pryor excels at those. Is that the type of guy we want to be the future of the position for us?
I really do want to love this guy, but I just can't get on board. However, I know that many of you out there strongly disagree with me, so let me hear it! Why am I wrong?