2010 NFL Combine: Could a Good Combine Push Dez Bryant into the Top Five?

Eric GalkoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2010

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 30:   Wide Receiver Dez Bryant  #1 of the Oklahoma State University Cowboys jumps up to catch the ball as Free Safety T.J. Ward #2 of the University of Oregon Ducks breaks up the pass during the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium on December 30, 2008 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Since his sophomore campaign, Bryant has been viewed as the best 2010 NFL Draft prospect, and a first round lock at the wide receiver position.

Well, that hype didn’t fade throughout his college career, and for the most part, he lived up to it while on the field. He did have some off the field issues with the whole Deion Sanders situation, so he’ll have to do deal with that as well as the workouts at the NFL Combine.

College Production

2007—43 receptions, 622 yards, 14.5 YPR, 6 TDs 

2008—87 receptions, 1480 yards, 17.0 YPR, 19 TDs (2 games over 200 yards, Four 3+ TD games)

2009—17 receptions, 323 yards, 19.0 YPR, 4 TD (Suspended after third game, on pace for 74 receptions, 1400 yards, 16 TDs)

Scouting Report

Regardless of the production of speedy, smaller receivers in the NFL, most offensive coordinators would rather have a bigger-bodied receiver as their go-to target. Bryant definitely fits that bill.

Bryant is a sure-handed, physical receiver who makes outstanding adjustments on the ball both away from his body and in the air. He is willing to go across the middle, and shows his toughness as an aggressive blocker by taking big hits for yardage. The go-to man in his offense, Bryant was a force on the field in college.

But, he’ll still have to improve before he’s the next Larry Fitzgerald. He didn’t run very crisp routes in college and he is a bit of a long strider, so quick routes may be an issue. He also had the situation with Deion Sanders, which you know NFL teams will ask him about in the interviews.

What He Needs to Do at the Combine

I think first off, as it is with every possible top 10 pick, he’ll have to interview well. These top guys are slotted to make tons of money and it’s very rare that a team will take a shot on a guy they think could be an issue off the field.

I think he’ll also need to be very sure-handed and run balanced routes if he hopes to solidify himself as a top notch prospect.

If he can win over a few teams high in the draft and display his great athletic ability and completeness as a receiver, the top five isn’t out of the question.

Projected Round/Team

Bryant’s stock could fluctuate depending on how he performs at the combine and how well he wins teams over in the interviews.

I don’t think he’ll slip past 27 to the Cowboys, regardless of his combine showing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Seahawks at six, the Chiefs at five, or even the Bucs at three would consider Bryant.

Final Word

I like Bryant more than Crabtree, Heyward-Bey, and Maclin from last year, and I feel he could be the next Larry Fitzgerald. He’s got undeniable size and is a very fluid athlete. If I were a team, I wouldn’t let him slip out of the top 10.

I could see him being highly coveted come draft time and teams like Jacksonville, Miami, and Seattle (with their second first rounder) could try and trade up to a top four pick to snag Bryant.


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