Watching film of Louisville free safety Calvin Pryor one of the first things that jumps out at you is how much enthusiasm this young man brings to the game. In each of the games that I watched Pryor's high energy level and passion for the game was on display. Pure and simple, this kid is a natural born football player.
Not only does Pryor's love of the game shine through, so does his talent. He has a nice combination of size (6' 2", 208), decent speed, and athletic ability. Against UCF, Pryor made an unbelievable one-handed grab in the back corner of the endzone to pick off a Blake Bortles pass. It was the type of play that you rewind and watch over and over, staring at the screen in awe.
Pryor not only has physical tools, but he is also blessed with incredible instincts. He somehow always manages to wind up involved in the play. In 2013, Pryor finished second on the team with 75 tackles on the season. He is, pure and simple, a playmaker. For his efforts in 2013, Calvin Pryor earned first team All American Athletic Conference honors, which he added to the second team All Big East recognition that he earned in 2012.
If you are in the market for a true centerfielder, Pryor probably is not your guy. He can play either role. He is very good playing in the box as run support, but he is also able to sit back in a zone and patrol the deep middle effectively. The biggest drawback that I have seen is that Pryor only has limited experience in man coverage. He hasn't has many opportunities to prove he can do that effectively.
Ont of the hardest hitters in the 2014 draft class, Pryor is going to decleat a few guys on Sundays this fall. The way he hits will redoubtably draw the attention of the men in stripes, but Pryor plays and hits cleanly. Still, he will be the guy who earns a flag occasionally based off of reputation. This will be more than offset by what his ability as a hitter does to discourage receivers from looking to exploit his area. Even more impressive than the way Pryor hits is the solid technique that he brings to tackling. The kid hits and wraps his man.
If Calvin Pryor is still on the board when the Cowboys go on the clock during the first round, they need to give serious consideration to making him the first addition to the 2014 roster. He plays the game with pride and passion, does so at a very high skill level, and he brings excitement to his performance. It has been far too long since we have seen safety play to get excited about, and now it looks like Dallas has an opportunity to change that.
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