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UDFA Scouting Edition: Pryor Ready for the Challenge | Washington Commanders


By Adam Aniba


Washington heads into training camp with a loaded defensive line, but rookie KJ Henry (FULL Scouting Report) and second year defesnive end Shaka Toney (Suspended for the '23 season story) are the only ends under contract next season.


Bowie State University defensive end Joshua Pryor was one of a dozen plus undrafted players the Commanders will bring to training camp this month. The HBCU product is a local high school product with a lot to prove.


Joshua Pryor

6'4" 280 lbs | DE | Clemson

Undrafted FA WSH

Career (49 Games)- 245 TAK (131 solo), 77.0 TFL, 32 SACKS, 4 FF, 5 FR, 3 PD & 3 BLK

'22 Stats (10 Games)- 47 TAK (20 solo), 10.5 TFL, 3.5 SACKS, 2 FR & 2 PD

Background

Pryor grew up in Baltimore, MD and attended Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Pryor played on the offensive and defensive line.


As a senior in '16, Pryor helped guide Dunbar to a 9-4 overall record and ranked as the #39 high school prospect in Maryland. He lined up primarily at strong side defensive end.


The Dunbar defensive end received little attention during the college recruiting process and accepted and offer to play for Bowie State University.


Pryor wouldn't see the filed in 2017, but in '18 he played in 13 games. He made his presence known by registering 55 tackles (34 solo), 20 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery and a blocked field goal.


Pryor was named to the CIAA All-Rookie Team CIAA, received Rookie of the Year honors, named to the All-CIAA First Team, Don Hansen D2 All-American Honorable Mention and BoxToRow All-American.


The 2019 season would be Pryor's best statistical season while at Bowie. The defensive end played in 12 games registering 75 tackles (35 solo), 25 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks, 1 pass defended and a blocked kick.


Pryor's play in '19 led to him being named to the All-CIAA First Team, D2Football.com All-American Honorable Mention, Protect Your Skull Division II Defensive Player of the Year and Team Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

Fast forward to '22 and although Pryor's statistical production was down after playing in 10 games, he registered a career best 2 pass deflections and 2 forced fumbles.


Although he was unable duplicate his sack production (13) from 2019, Pryor solidified himself as one of the better pass rushers on the HBCU level.


Pryor played in 49 career games for Bowie State and finished with 32 sacks and 77 tackles for a loss.


The Bulldogs defensive end was absolutely dominate during the 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl. The Bowie State pass rusher easily penetrated the offensive line, recording 2 sacks and was constantly a disruptor in the offensive backfield.


He shined when playing the run, often times at the point of attack as the ball was being handed off to the running backs. If not for the loss, he would have been named Defensive MVP per prospect evaluators, finishing with 7 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks.


PROS

  • Displays the ability to split double teams

  • Strong hands with impressive length

  • Was effective when kicked inside

  • Effective when setting the edge vs the run

  • Displays the ability to quickly disengage when offensive lineman attempt to pull him down

CONS

  • Limited pass rushing tool box, too often relies on bullrush

  • Tendency to bite on misdirection plays while playing the run

  • Needs to get hands up on his pass rush, too many missed opportunities for pass deflections

  • Motor can run hot and cold

  • Plays too upright and needs to lower his center of gravity when bending the edge


Projection

The 6″4′ pass rusher played the majority of his career at around 245 pounds, but bulked up to 280 lbs when he arrived in Washington.


Although Pryor has an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster, he'll get a chance during camp and in the preseason to show out on special teams.


The most likely landing spot will be the practice squad for the Bowie pass rusher, but he'll be a player to watch this offseason.


*Games Played- 9/1/22 vs Saginaw Valley, 9/24 vs St. Augustine's, 10/1 Livingstone, 10/15 vs Virginia Union, 10/29 Elizabeth City St. & 11/5 vs Lincoln (PA)





*Credit YouTube Draft Diamonds





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