Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Ravens coach talks about drafting Dez Bryant
By Calvin Watkins
It's easy to go back and say what might have been, especially when it comes to the NFL draft. But in 2010, the Baltimore Ravens had the 25th overall pick of the draft and were interested in wide receiver Dez Bryant.
The Ravens brought Bryant to their facility for a visit and he met with general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh. Of course, the Ravens didn't draft Bryant, instead trading out of the first round to get three picks. Dallas drafted Bryant at No. 24 overall.
Harbaugh was asked about the visit and if a trade hadn't occurred, would his team have drafted Bryant.
"We liked him," Harbaugh said Monday to reporters in the Baltimore area. "Whether we would have taken him with that pick if we hadn’t traded out -- if that’s what you’re asking -- I really don’t know. Ozzie is right upstairs, though. You could ask him if you want. (laughing) But, he is a good player. He is a really talented guy. You talk about the Cowboys, obviously, they have a tremendously talented quarterback who is capable of just doing amazing things. They’ve got maybe the most balanced receiving corps in football. Miles Austin, obviously, is a great player. They have four really good receivers. They have a great tight end. They have two home-run-hitting running backs. So, they’ve got lots of weapons, and everybody knows that."
If Bryant had gone to the Ravens, maybe the veteran leadership of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed would have helped him better than what the Cowboys' locker room has provided.
Bryant has had dinner with several players, including former center Andre Gurode and quarterback Tony Romo. So it's not like the Cowboys players haven't tried to mentor and develop relationships with Bryant.
It's really unfair to make a conclusion either way and, of course, Bryant could have gotten in trouble just as easily in the Baltimore area as he's done in Dallas/Fort Worth. The lawsuits over jewelry and sporting event tickets was going to happen regardless of where Bryant played. Bryant purchased the jewelry prior to his junior year at Oklahoma State and the lawsuits were filed before his rookie season. Bryant has since settled the lawsuits with the jeweler.
It's unknown if the other incidents would have occurred had he lived in Baltimore.
On the field, Bryant might have produced the same numbers or better. He's scored 15 touchdowns in his career, none in 2012.