Monday, February 21, 2011

Player Profile: Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant
Position: Wide Receiver
Size: 6'2, 217
Age: 22, 11/4/88
College: Oklahoma State
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 24 - 2010
Experience: 1 Season

Salary History and Contract Status - According to David Moore:7/22/2010: 7/22/2010: Signed a five-year, $11.8 million contract. The deal contains $8.63 million guaranteed, including a $1.95 million signing bonus and a $570,000 first-year roster bonus. Another $3.185 million is available through a "likely to be earned" onetime incentive clause. 2011: $1,112,500, 2012: $1,335,000, 2013: $1,557,500, 2014: $1.78 million, 2015: Free Agent

2010 Draft Profile From ranked WR 2010 - Dez Bryant - Oklahoma State - 6'1 - 224 - 4.52 - Junior entry. Started 19 games over career. Played in three games in 2009 after being suspended by the NCAA for lying to investigators about a visit with former NFL great Deion Sanders. PLays in a read option spread offense. Lines up at the X-Split end or Z-slot position. Generally double covered by a safety and a corner. A big receiver that gets open. Tough versus single coverage. Will reach and extend to pluck the ball. Has the strength to go up and come down with the pass. Quick in and out of breaks. Has long arms and good sized hands to provide a big target for his Quarterback. Has suction cup hands to make the difficult catch. Can catch the low hard pass, over the shoulder, and ball behind or any other off target throw. Plays fast with the speed to go deep. Can adjust to the ball in flight. No hold up on the release. Usually played with a big cushion. Athletic after the catch. Productive with the ball in hands. Explosive playmaker. Smooth and athletic route runner. Quick to close the cushion. Forces separation with the defensive back. Has good vision and focus as a vertical threat. Gets to top speed quickly. Competitive in close quarters. Show aggressiveness. Will cradle the ball as needed on crossers and dig routes. Has an explosive up field burst after catch. The spread offense gets skilled players in space. Half-hearted effort as a blocker. He will flash blocking skills on rare occasions or just get in the offensive back's way. His last full season was 2008. Has 87 catches averaging 18 yards per catch and 19 touchdowns. Averaged 17.9 yards and had two punt returns for Touchdowns. Needs to take more pride in his route running. Will lose some concentration and have some easy drops at times. Has a learning disability but no problems learning football. Did not work out at the combine. At his pro day, he had a 7.21/3 cone and 11-1 broad jump. First Round.

2010: Let's consider the things working against Dez Bryant entering 2010: 1) He was an early entry AND was suspended for almost all of 2009 in college. 2) Rookie WRs never have good seasons it seems. 3) Because of a nasty ankle injury, he missed nearly the entire training camp. 4) Expectations for him were over the moon. And yet, to suggest that he met expectations is likely an understatement. He played in 12 games as a rookie between his injuries, and several of his appearances would have to be described as spectacular. As a return man, he was in the end zone twice, as a WR he was in the end zone 6 more times. His highlight film from the season would have easily been the most impressive of any Cowboy, and he was just a rookie who missed all of training camp and only played 431 offensive snaps (Miles Austin played 1019). It is dangerous to assume that his numbers will automatically continue to multiply, but he appears to be of superstar potential and quality. Is he without concern? Of course not. His emotions appear to be his biggest red flag, and there is always a tightrope to walk with emotional WRs, but you will handle that situation while viewing his highlight film.

2011 Analysis: Heading into the new year, the Cowboys have to feel like they have the potential to possess "Co-#1's" at the position. Miles Austin and Dez Bryant seem to have such complete skill sets that it does allow your mind to dream about the aerial attack and how secondaries can deal with it all. Can Dez stay healthy? And in the effort to make sure he does so, at what point do you discuss relieving him of his return duties? This is one of the bigger decisions for the Cowboys' brass to make because their return game is a massive weapon when Dez is back there, but if the Cowboys were in contention when he was lost for the season against the Colts in 2010, the devastation would have been difficult to describe. Also, some are on full alert to see how the post-Ray Sherman era is received, as Sherman was given large amounts of credit for dealing with Bryant's emotional outbursts. It would seem that Jason Garrett does not believe in "Keeping It Real Thursdays", but rather uses a firm hand. Everyone will be on full alert to watch their relationship and where new WR coach, Jimmy Robinson fits into all of this. But, in the end, the Cowboys no doubt have Dez Bryant earmarked for 80 catches and 1000 yards and a full highlight film in his sophomore year in the NFL - he has earned that high ceiling already.

Previous Profiles:
Doug Free
Marc Colombo
Sam Young
Alex Barron
DeMarcus Ware
Anthony Spencer
Victor Butler
Brandon Williams
Jason Witten
Martellus Bennett
John Phillips
Bradie James
Keith Brooking
Sean Lee
Leon Williams
Sam Hurd
Roy Williams
Miles Austin

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