Tuesday, 2 February 2010
POTD: Dez Bryant, WR, OSU
By Kip Earlywine
Unofficial 40: 4.54
-Elite production (1480 yards and 19 TD's in 77 grabs in '08, 323 yards and 4 TDs in 3 games in '09)
-Solid combination of size and speed, not elite or rare, but still very good
-Good running instincts
-Plays marvelously well even when hurt, tough kid
-Solid kick returner
-If everything breaks right, he could be a #1 WR in the NFL, which very few WR can claim this year
-Is bulkier than he looks, he could probably add more weight if he wanted
-Has a nose for the endzone
-Awesome YPC (17.0 in '08, 19.0 in '09)
-A few injuries from time to time, including a knee injury at the end of '08
-Supposedly is a little immature, Deion Sanders incident, etc.
-Sometimes has trouble with drops and penalties
-Not explosive or if he is, it doesn't jump off the tape.
-Speed is sometimes underwhelming. Might not be a true deep threat.
-Came from a spread offense which probably inflated his stats somewhat and masks aspects of his game like beating a press
-Could stand to be more precise in routes
-Body catches a lot, but to be fair he does sometimes show good hands skills and come back for the ball.
-Because of good but not elite measurables, he's probably more likely to be a good #2 than a true #1.
-Not extremely physical, doesn't steamroll over tacklers and YAC could be better.
"If Dez pushes himself away from the dinner table and shows up ready to go, he's the best WR in this draft"
"Going back to Crabtree versus Bryant, I think Bryant is a better overall player. I think he has better physical skills: he's big, he's strong, and of all the things he does, I think getting down the field and finding the ball over his shoulder... I think its a rare quality for a vertical receiver, he could easily be a top 10 pick."
-Todd McShay (on Sportscenter)
Like McShay I see some similarities between Bryant and Crabtree. They have about the same size and speed, and both put up great numbers (including a ton of TDs) in spread offenses in the big 12. Another similarity is that in my opinion, Crabtree suffered unfairly from unsubstantiated claims that he was a "diva," while Bryant was the victim of a very strict NCAA who went over the top last year by suspending him for the whole season because of a meeting he had with Deion Sanders. I very much doubt that either Crabtree or Bryant have serious character concerns.
Of the two, I liked Crabtree more because he attacked the ball with his hands, had extremely few drops, and was incredibly clutch. Not to mention Crabtree was extremely difficult to tackle whereas Bryant looks fairly easy to bring down. If you wanted, you could call Bryant this year's Crabtree, although I'd say Crabtree was a little better, personally.
There are a lot of teams that will consider WR a big need in the first half of the 1st round, so for that reason, I don't expect Bryant to last until #14. Is he worth taking at #6? I would lean towards no, as he's not a superstar prospect. He's more Anquan Boldin than Larry Fitzgerald. I would personally prefer to trade into the 20's and get Damian Williams, but if the Seahawks draft Dez Bryant at #6, I'd be understanding. WR is a position that tends to take a couple years to acclimate to the NFL, and Housh, Branch, and Burleson probably won't be Seahawks more than 2 years from now. So it makes a lot of sense to address WR this offseason. If Carroll/Bates believe that Bryant will fit their system well enough to unlock his slim #1 potential, he'd be a worthy pick at #6.
Posted by Kip Earlywine