At this point in the NFL off-off-season (where even the inactivity has been delayed by the lockout), it's easy to get caught up in any rumor whatsoever -- applying any player's name and questioning whether every team in the NFL could possibly be attached to them. Most of them make no sense at all, and perhaps even the question posed in the headline -- whether or not the Kansas City Chiefs could possibly be interested in Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor -- feels like such a leap. But I would beg to differ.
The Chiefs already have their starting quarterback in Matt Cassel and even their developmental quarterback in Ricky Stanzi, for that matter. They also have Tyler Palko in the fold as well as unsigned free agent Brodie Croyle, who no one really knows what to expect there. So I don't mention Pryor as a possible quarterback to develop into a starter. Instead, it's about the ability to grab with a probable low pick someone as talented in an all-around sense as Pryor is -- someone who measures and performs in ways that few athletes truly can.
Pryor measures a legitimate 6-6, 233 lbs. He runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. He has dynamic agility for his size and partners that with courage on the field. Needless to say he's a rare package. Many are positioning Pryor as a wide receiver at the NFL level, and that sort of offensive versatility would play well for any team -- including the Chiefs.
The Chiefs are moving from a one-trick pony sort of offense and trying to diversify their options around the field. The running tandem of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones is dynamite, and as everyone already knows, led the league in rushing last year. That created enough end zone opps for Dwayne Bowe, who led the league in touchdown receptions, but the Chiefs had no other offensive options besides that. Late in the year, it was enough to stack the defensive box and double Bowe to beat the Chiefs.
Todd Haley has now taken the reins of the offense, and Scott Pioli has given him his big wideout in first round selection Jonathan Baldwin. He immediately becomes the vertical threat over the top so Bowe can run his precise cut routes. In the slot, Arizona Cardinal Steve Breaston has been mentioned, and that would provide a nice fit. But there's still room for that extra speed receiver, someone who could develop and learn along the way.
Injuries hampered 2010 second round choice Dexter McCluster, who could play that sort of role, and so his versatility and big-play ability is still out there, although no one seems to know what he will bring given his size and health concerns that come with it. He's definitely an incredibly elusive target, but he can also come out of the backfield. Pryor could play right into this as a fourth receiver, someone with an ability to also throw a la Antwan Randle El -- giving Haley even more offensive flexibility and making the Chiefs that much more difficult to defend.
The Chiefs now have Baldwin in house, but other than the Pitt prospect who is expected to start, there's no in-house rookie to develop. Everyone further down KC's roster is practice squad fodder or special teams experts, which are both essential for the Chiefs, but there's a spot open for a Pryor-like player. If the cost is a late round selection (read 5th round or later), what harm would come of getting an athlete like that?
The Chiefs are at the point where they can afford a luxury pick to take a flyer on someone who would undoubtedly come in with a chip on his shoulder, trying to prove he can play at the NFL level. If some team could harness that ability with the right focus and discipline, they would find a dynamic offensive player.