Dez Bryant’s road to the NFL over the last nine months has was in all likelihood vastly different from how he envisioned it would be.
As a junior at Oklahoma State, Bryant was suspended after the third game of the season for lying to the NCAA about a meeting with former Florida State great Deion Sanders. He remained out for the rest the 2009-10 college football season, having to watch his Cowboy teammates from the sideline.
As the calender flipped to 2010, Bryant made his intentions known that he was going to forgo his senior year and enter the 2010 NFL Draft.
Bryant comes into the 2010 NFL Draft as the top receiver prospect in the class, however has been questioned about his character, and his ability to handle the NFL.
Bryant has had several slip ups along the way such as missing meetings, bringing the incorrect shoes to run his 40-yard dash, and working out with Pacman Jones, who is notorious for his poor behavior in the NFL.
Still, his representatives insist that Bryant is a good kid, who just wants to fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL.
“I think he wants to focus on what he does best and what he loves, and that’s football,” remarked Bryant’s agent, Eugene Parker. “He wanted to get ready to play football, because I think he believes that whatever opinions people have, they’re going to have. He wanted to give them enough information so they could make an informed opinion. And if they choose not to take the information, I think at this point he’s decided that’s not going to be his problem.”
In 2008 with the Cowboys, Bryant hauled in 87 receptions for 1,480 and tabbed 19 touchdowns. Additionally he took back two punts to the end-zone.
“Dez has been given a little bit of a bad rap, but Dez is not a troublemaker. I mean, Dez has not been in trouble,” Gundy said of his former receiver. “There’s a difference with maybe being late for meetings and stuff and being a guy that’s in trouble all the time. Dez has never been in trouble.
“Dez is just a guy that has to learn to fit into a system, and he’ll be fine once he gets there.”
Several mock draft have the wide receiver being selected by Cleveland as high as seventh, or falling out of the opening round completely.
Teammates of Bryant’s said that he is one of the hardest workers they know, and was looked up too during his time at Oklahoma State.
“He was a great leader, he was a hard worker and I basically went to compare myself to him working,” wide receiver Justin Blackmon said of Bryant. “So, that’s how I saw it.”
Bryant considers his life obstacles as events in his life that have shaped who he is today, and looks forward to an opportunity to whichever team gives him the chance at the next level.
“I just feel like—believe it or not—I’m kind of happy because of the stuff I’ve been through because I feel like it has just matured me as a person in some ways,” Bryant said. “I’m probably not fully developed as a full man, but I’ve matured in a lot of ways. I know how to handle things a lot better.”
Online Sportsbooks are fielding wagers as to where Bryant will fall in the 2010 NFL Draft.
11th Pick or Lower- -150
12th Pick- +1000
13th Pick- +1000
14th Pick- +1000
15th Pick- +1000
16th Pick- +1000
17th Pick or Higher- -150