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The Buccaneers should target Terrelle Pryor in free agency

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San Diego Chargers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t have a lot of options at wide receiver this offseason if they want to address their biggest need in free agency, but one name’s pretty intriguing: Terrelle Pryor.

The former quarterback exploded onto the scene last season as one of the most productive wideouts in the league, which is pretty impressive given that Cleveland Browns quarterbacks were throwing to him.

Pryor caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns in his first full season as a receiver, and looked explosive and full of potential, if a bit raw at the edges. He’d be a nice complement to Mike Evans — another big-bodied, powerful and fast wide receiver to help Jameis Winston, who fares best with bigger targets on downfield throws given his somewhat erratic accuracy.

There’s a reason why we’re talking about him, of course: Pro Football Focus is beating the Pryor drum pretty loudly. They suggested he go to the Bucs in this paywalled ESPN article, and he ranks 20th in their top 20 free agency list — just above safety Tony Jefferson, who’d also make a neat free agency target for the Bucs.

This was Pryor’s first real season as a wideout, and his potential remains extremely high given his athletic talent. He may never develop into the next Julio Jones, but he has already shown the ability to be a difference maker for any team as a starting option.

There are a few problems with signing Pryor, though. Obviously, his track record of success is rather limited: one season. He’s also 28, and the question is whether he can continue to develop as a receiver at that age, when declines usually start in players’ late twenties to early thirties. Plus, if you’re going the free agency route at receiver, do you want to pair Winston with a very inexperienced receiver? Why not draft one who’s likely to stay for a longer period of time?

Still, I like the idea of targeting Pryor. He shouldn’t be as pricey as the top free agents on the market, he has potential, athleticism, explosiveness and a wide catching radius — everything you want in a Bucs wide receiver. So why not target him?