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Why Washington WR Terrelle Pryor can live up to the hype

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Terrelle Pryor brings plenty of athletic ability, but will that translate into weekly excitement in Redskins Nation?

Dallas Cowboys v Cleveland Browns Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

All of the SB Nation NFL team sites are contributing a piece dedicated to the player we are most excited about this season as part of a hype week promotion. I feel like I could have written yet another article on Kirk Cousins’ awesomeness or Josh Doctson’s potential, but I went with a different angle. I mean, in terms of pure fan excitement/holding our breath/God, I hope this works out...Junior Galette might be the real winner, but I am staying on the offensive side of the ball.

The NFL is all about the spiraling pigskin. The ball in the air, slow-motion camera sequence where the receiver runs underneath with outstretched arms for the game-breaking play is what we all live for, and what we potentially have in our newest outside threat. It sounds like Kirk and Terrelle are starting to test the limits of their long-ball chemistry, but we won’t know anything for sure until September. Despite Kirk and DeSean Jackson never really turning into a super-consistent deep-ball combination, I don’t think that will have a huge impact on what Kirk can do with Pryor.

First, we all recall how difficult a matchup Pryor was for Josh Norman last season. He didn’t go all “Calvin Johnson” on us, but he did haul in a score and he did manage to use his size to his advantage against a physical corner.

Secondly, Pryor is going to get a TON of targets. No Pierre Garcon and no DeSean Jackson means there are plenty of targets to redistribute. We didn’t sign Terrelle to keep his jersey clean. At 6’4”, 230 pounds, our offensive strategy is going to be get him the ball. He got 140 targets last season on a terrible Cleveland team that went through quarterbacks like a taco buffet through ih8dallas. Maybe he doesn’t see that many balls his way, but with slightly more purpose and with stability under center, he may be able to catch more than the 77 he caught last year.

Catch radius is something we drooled over after drafting Josh Doctson, and the same kind of excitement should be applied to #11 this season. The difference between throwing deep to DeSean versus throwing deep to Terrelle can’t be overstated. DJax used his elite athleticism to expand his catch radius and make plays on throws that pretty much nobody else could make. I can’t and won’t take that away from him, but one thing DeSean has never been great at is being 6’4”...too harsh? Pryor can compete for balls in the air in a way that DJax never could, and that should result in receptions of over 20, 30 and 40 yards. DJax was always good in that statistical category, but I feel like Pryor can outdo him this year in that stat by virtue of just being able to haul in more passes in traffic.

There are plenty of options to choose from on the Redskins roster. Because our playoff chances and overall success will likely come down to something like the Kirk/Terrelle connection, I have chosen him today as the guy I am most excited about. Who ya got?