As to rookie Dez Bryant, the jury is still out.
Bryant spent Thursday and Friday with in Miami, and a fan base desperate to see a high-end wideout join the team now must wait two weeks and five days to find out whether the Dolphins will take him.
The question? Does the potential reward justify the potential risk?
“We have to be concerned with the other things that are out there, the
issues,” coach Tony Sparano recently said, according to Edgar Thompson of the Palm Beach Post. “We have to do our due
diligence that way.”
The problem is that, by all appearances, Bryant’s upside and downside are both uncertain at the next level. As we pointed out recently, the first round has produced plenty of sure-fire pass-catchers who ended up flaming out of the league. So no one knows whether a guy who generated 29 touchdowns in 28 college football games will be able to do the same thing when a grown man is in his face on every play, a la Dr. Death and Robin Williams in The Best of Times.
Ditto for Bryant’s off-field concerns. He has never gotten in trouble with the law — but he has gotten in plenty of trouble with the law of college football’s landscape. He also reportedly has shown up late for plenty of things, and he flatly has denied doing so. The Dolphins have the resources to get to the truth, and if it turns out that Dez is fudging reality, the Dolphins should turn tail and run.
The fact that the Dolphins have brought Bryant in for a visit presumably is part of the process of getting to that truth. Presumably, Sprano and/or G.M. Jeff Ireland and/or V.P. of football operations Bill Parcells entered the room with more ammo than a prosecutor and interrogated Bryant for what surely seemed to him like hours. Based on his responses, the Dolphins likely will make a final decision as to whether they plan to use the No. 12 pick on Bryant — or whether they want to continue looking elsewhere for a guy who can command double coverage and in turn open up the rest of the offense.