With receiver Brandon Marshall finally getting his long-coveted ticket out of Denver, the Broncos need to acquire at some point another dominant receiver — a project that is far easier said than done. Some think that the Broncos will simply pounce on Dez Bryant with the No. 11 pick in the draft. At Friday’s pre-draft press conference, Broncos coach Josh McDaniels talked both about Bryant — and about the 11th overall selection.
“We had Dez Bryant here the other day, we spent time with him at the Combine, we spent a lot of time with him actually,” McDaniels said. “I’m not going to comment on Brandon, but with Dez Bryant, I think you need to be careful confusing character issues with some people who have made some mistakes.
“This guy has never been arrested, never had a drinking issue and never done anything to put himself in that position. I think he’s made a few mistakes that he wishes he hadn’t made but I think there’s a difference. You can say well, ‘This guy has made a couple mistakes that have been really glorified,’ and made a big deal of it and all of the sudden turn him into a really bad kid. That’s the farthest thing from the truth relative to [Bryant]. We enjoyed our visit with him and he did everything we asked him to do. He had a smile on his face and he did everything well. I’ll tell you this, he’s on our board — there’s no question. I know there are other teams that may have taken him off their board but he is not one of the players who is off our board.”
Of course, everything a coach says less than a week before the draft is subject to a very thick B.S. filter. Given that McDaniels also mused about trading down, it could be that his comments about Bryant were aimed at persuading someone to move up to get him if Bryant remains on the board at No. 11.
Really, why gush about the guy if you truly want him? Indeed, there’s a chance that such talk could prompt one of the teams sitting at No. 3 through No. 10 to take him.
Though we think Bryant’s story has the potential to be an inspiring one, the problem with taking him is that, if he becomes a problem at the NFL level, it will be hard for the G.M. and/or coach who takes a chance on him to explain his way out of the situation when the guy who signs the checks wants to know why both a first-round pick and so much of the owner’s money was spent on a guy with more red flags than the parking lot at a Nebraska game.