Position: Wide Receiver
College: Oklahoma State
Size: 6’2″ – 225 pounds
The Brandon Marshall trade could push Dez Bryant into the neighborhood of the Bengals, if the Broncos decide to pass on him. It would create an interesting dilemma in Cincinnati’s war room and I’ll attempt to replicate it here.
I like: Bryant has ideal NFL size and runs a solid 4.5 in the 40-yard dash. Pair him with Chad Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant and the Bengals offense suddenly becomes explosive again, both now and in the future. Many people believe Bryant is a top-10 talent, but some maturity concerns could make him a steal at No. 21 (dare I say Randy Moss-ish value?)
I don’t like: His character concerns. With Pittsburgh taking a beating in the PR department, it’s nice to see the Bengals enjoying a relatively quiet offseason (with the exception of Rey Maualuga’s DUI, of course). Bryant would be a boom-or-bust pick and would awaken all those complaints of Cincy’s prison culture (Matt Jones certainly didn’t help there). Plus, Bryant hasn’t played in many months after lying to NCAA investigators about contact with Deion Sanders.
My verdict: Bryant is simply too talented to pass up at No. 21. He admitted to a problem with tardiness and was punished for lying to NCAA investigators (at USC, that’s worth a few college credits). I think Bryant has learned his lessons and I think he’s determined to make amends. Plus, a Bengals lineup with Bryant-Bryant-Ochocinco-and-Caldwell would be almost impossible to defend. And Bryant would give the Bengals a replacement for Ochocinco whenever his time runs out in Cincy. It’s a risky pick for sure, but it makes too much sense, in my opinion. Roll the dice.