The consensus top-rated, and controversial, Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant conducted a pre-draft visit to New England today. Once considered a sure top 10 pick, he was suspended for the final 10 games of the 2009 season for lying about meeting with Deion Sanders. In my opinion, it’s a pretty lame reason to suspend a player, especially for 10 games. Because of this controversy and a poorer-than-expected showing at his Pro Day (he ran in the 4.5’s), his stock is completely up in the air. Not too long ago, thinking that he would even reach the 15th overall pick was ludicrous. Now, I have seen some speculation that he could fall into the second round. I think that’s pretty extreme thinking, because the talent that he has is unquestionable and at any pick past 15th overall he would be considered a big value pick.
If he’s available at #22, and the Patriots had any questions sufficiently answered in his visit, I would not be surprised to see the Pats pick him. First, he is a huge value at #22, and Belichick loves value for his picks. The Pats were pleasantly surprised when Vince Wilfork fell to them at #21, and he’s been a cornerstone ever since. The Pats’ current top receiver, Randy Moss, fell due to off-field issues to #21 when he was drafted, which now has to be considered a major steal. With the right locker room chemistry, Bryant should not be an issue, especially seeing as though he will be “just a rookie.”
The Patriots lack depth at wide receiver, a situation made worse by Wes Welker’s knee injury. Also, this may be Randy Moss’ final year as a Patriot, with no heir apparent on the roster (unless Brandon Tate develops). There is little doubt that the Patriots will draft a WR. Getting the top one in a draft with tons of depth shouldn’t hinder them addressing their defensive needs in round 2.
To see Dez Bryant highlights, click here.