Now embroiled in a scandal that rocked Ohio State, Pryor will take his chances in next month's supplemental draft rather than spend his senior season lining up for the Buckeyes.
The fundamentally flawed but athletic Pryor needs a complete retooling and a few years of study time with a top-shelf quarterbacks coach if he's going to develop into a quality quarterback, Cosell said.
He'd get that kind of mentorship in Green Bay, with coach Mike McCarthy and quarterbacks coach Tom Clements being among the best in the business in working with quarterbacks. And with Aaron Rodgers entrenched as the starter, there would be no pressure for Pryor to be anything more than the possible heir apparent should backup Matt Flynn depart in free agency after the 2011 season.
"I hate when a guy comes out to say that he can never play," Cosell told Packer Report on Wednesday. "What's going to help him is the fact that, assuming there's a supplemental draft, he's not going to come in with expectations. He needs to be basically broken down and built up because right now he's not really an NFL quarterback."
What Cosell sees on tape is a player whose arm strength and accuracy are limited by his mechanics.
"First of all, he's a pusher, and I never like guys who throw the ball like that," he said. "He doesn't drive the ball and he's got a very stiff delivery. He's not a natural passer because he's always been an athlete who could make plays with his feet. He's not really a pocket player; he's uncomfortable in the pocket. He's got a very bad habit of lifting his back foot off the ground before he throws the ball. What that does is it means you lose any velocity that you may have and means you can't really drive the football. Because of that, he's got an average arm. He was not naturally accurate; he was very scattershot. Watching film, even a lot of the completions aren't necessarily accurate throws; they're good catches."
Moreover, Cosell said the film shows Ohio State's passing game was "very simplistic" and Pryor has little experience going from read one, to read two, to read three.
That's not to say Pryor can't learn all of those things, but quarterbacks who weren't pocket passers in college tend to have a difficult time becoming a pocket passer in the NFL. While Steve Young is a notable exception, Cosell believes Pryor — and No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton, for that matter — faces an uphill climb to be a successful NFL signal-caller.
"The top NFL quarterbacks, in any particular order that you so choose, are (Peyton) Manning, (Tom) Brady, (Drew) Brees, you probably put Rodgers there now, maybe a (Ben) Roethlisberger, a (Philip) Rivers," Cosell said. "None of these guys are great NFL quarterbacks because of the way they run around. That's not the NFL game. Playing quarterback in the NFL is a craft. There's a science to it. There's a precision to everything about it. It's very hard to teach guys who have never done that to do it once they get to the NFL. They have no background in it."
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.