I know it's way too early in his career, but last night Z and I were talking about how sick it would be if the Patriots were able to snag Justin Blackmon with what looks like will be the 15th or so pick in this year's draft (via Oakland thanks to the Richard Seymour trade, see "Kraft-Belichick genius" for more details). In our discussion I called Blackmon "Dez Bryant 2.0," which led to this discussion: Could Dez be the greatest receiver of all time?
In my opinion, only two things stand between Dez and G.O.A.T. status: his attitude and injuries. Obviously, injuries can happen to any player in any league, especially a receiver who plays in the same division as hard-hitting (and cheap-shot taking) cornerback Asante Samuel. While Bryant's ankle injury does not necessarily mean he is injury-prone (to my knowledge, he never had any notable injuries while at OSU), it is worth noting that Jerry Rice only once missed substantial time due to injury in his entire career, that coming in a severe knee injury he received in week one of the 1997 campaign. If Bryant can stay healthy, he certainly has the talent to be something special.
While Bryant has not been anything near the off-field distraction of say a T.O., he does at time appear to have a bit of an attitude. There was, of course, the situation in training camp where Bryant refused to carry Roy Williams' shoulder pads, a Cowboys rookie hazing tradition. But then again, Roy Williams sucks, so can you really blame him? Furthermore, it appeared at times that Bryant quit on some plays during his rookie season, and he become noticeably irked when the ball didn't come his direction in key situations. But hey, don't you want your star receiver to want the ball in big spots? Furthermore, one cannot really blame Bryant for becoming irritated amidst such a frsutrating season in Dallas. With the way the season has gone, everyone down there is becoming a bit restless. Those who weren't lost their job weeks ago.
To anyone who has seen Dez Bryant play football, it is obvious that he is a special talent and a physical specimen. He has everything you look for in a star receiver: great hands, incredible leaping ability, blazing speed and yes, even a little attitude. If Bryant can stay healthy he absolutely has a chance to be the greatest receiver of all time.
Follow Dez on twitter, @DEZ_88.