After losing DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon via free agency, the Redskins signed Terrelle Pryor to a one-year deal. Washington hopes Pryor can offset at least half of the loss from Jackson and Garçon, but the team and player likely want even more production.
True or false: Terrelle Pryor will lead the Redskins in receiving yards.
JP Finlay: True
Terrelle Pryor posted impressive stats last season in Cleveland, but they're also tough to project from for the 2017 season. Clearly the best wideout among the Browns options, Pryor was thrown to more than 140 times en route to his 77 catch, 1,007-yard season.
Considering he caught about half of the balls thrown his way, he might not be the elite receiver many are expecting. On the flip side, considering he caught even half the balls the terrible Browns QBs were throwing, he could be poised for an explosion in the Redskins mature offensive scheme run by Kirk Cousins.
The hardest part of locking in Pryor as the Redskins leading pass catcher in 2017 will be the internal competition he's going to face. Jamison Crowder looks poised for his first 1,000-yard season after getting 847 yards in 2016.
Jordan Reed certainly has the talent to lead the Redskins in receiving yards. His issue is health. Over the last two seasons, Reed has missed four games, but chatter around the team suggests Reed may line up more in the slot this year to try and limit some of the physicality playing on the line of scrimmage.
For me, this is a two horse race. Crowder will start fast, like he did in 2016, especially considering Cousins already has a ton of trust and familiarity with Crowder. Through the first nine games of last season, Crowder posted 535 receiving yards. Something similar would not be a surprise, but Crowder's last four games of 2016 he had just nine catches for 80 yards.
Eventually though, when defenses start to key on Crowder, Pryor will get his chances. Maybe not as many as he got in Cleveland, but better opportunities in a better offense.
ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end | Nickel cornerback | Inside linebacker | Running back
Rich Tandler: False
I liked the Pryor signing but I’m not as bullish on his prospects as Finlay and some others are.
For one thing, it sounds great to be a “1,000-yard receiver” but that’s not exactly a singular accomplishment. Last year 21 other receivers gained more yards receiving than Pryor.
Yes, he deserves some extra credit because it was his first year as a full-time receiver. But something tells me that if Pryor had signed with, say, the Eagles, Redskins fans would be saying that now that other teams have a season of film on him they will figure out to stop him.
But the other thing about his 2016 season was that the Browns quarterbacks (yes, all five of them) had no other viable targets at wide receiver. Quarterbacks threw to him 140 times, almost twice as often as the next Browns wide receiver. Rookie Corey Coleman was second among the team’s receivers with 73 targets and 413 yards and Andrew Hawkins had 324 yards. They did have TE Gary Barnidge, who had 612 yards. Still, that wasn’t exactly a target-rich environment for RG3, Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, and company.
The situation is different in Washington. As JP noted, Crowder and Reed are both capable of 1,000-yard seasons. Given the trust that Kirk Cousins has in both of them, I think that Crowder definitely will get targeted more often than Pryor and Reed will be if he stays on the field. I think that while Pryor will be a strong contributor, the chances are that one of the holdovers will lead the team in receiving yards.
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