Tuesday was a big day for Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant - a top ten talent with some serious red flags. If Bryant could knock his Pro Day workout out of the park today like Sam Bradford did at his workout yesterday, he would have thrust himself back into the top ten of the draft.
But he didn't.
Perhaps the rumblings of Bryant running a sub 4.4 40 last week raised expectations to unfair heights. Regardless, Dez did not do what he needed to do to ease the minds of NFL teams. There were reportedly as many as 20 teams on hand to see Bryant's workout. The Dolphins were there, too. But they were not represented by Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland, or Tony Sparano. Does that mean anything? I have no idea.
What I do know is that Bryant reportedly underwhelmed scouts. He ran his 40 three times, with reports ranging anywhere from 4.52 to 4.68. Most reports have his time listed in the mid 4.5s. That's not a bad time for a 220 pound receiver. But it's not great, either.
His 38 inch vertical leap is impressive and he reportedly displayed good hands during his positional drills. NFL Network's Mike Mayock had this to say about Bryant's performance:
I saw a guy with a 38-inch vertical leap, I saw a guy broad jump 11-foot, 1-inches and I saw a guy run a 1.5-second flat 10 yards. When you add that all up, it should equate to a 4.4, 4.42 40.
But he ran a 4.55 as an average today. So I was disappointed with the 40. I’ve got to attach some significance to that, and that’s the difficulty all 32 teams are going to have...
...The best part of the workout for me was that he got into the routes. He can pluck the football. Strong hands, big body, 224 pounds. I like the guy but I can’t put him in Larry Fitzgerald's class.
SI.com's Tony Pauline wasn't exactly as easy on Bryant as Mayock:
His results were far from spectacular and the word is that he looked ill-prepared to perform in front of scouts. His 40 times ranged from the mid 4.5-second area to as slow as 4.63 seconds. He looked out of sorts during his three cone and shuttle runs, reportedly because he forgot to bring his running cleats to the workout. Bryant was forced to wear a brand new pair of cleats that were not properly broken in and, as a result, he has done a lot of slipping and sliding during his 40 and shuttle runs. Even worse, scouts have reported that Bryant seems unmotivated and is not giving a great deal of effort. This is not going to help his draft stock, which has been in a free fall.
Ouch. Descriptions like "unmotivated" and "not giving a great deal of effort" clearly are big red flags. The fact that the kid could actually forget his cleats for what essentially was the biggest day in his football life also has to send up another red flag.
Maybe the media is blowing some of this out of proportion. Maybe they aren't. But considering 33% of the over 2,200 people who have voted in our poll want Dez Bryant to become a Dolphin, this is definitely worth discussing.