I see that the Ravens are kicking the tires on Dez Bryant. I don’t think that’s anything that anybody should be giving too much consideration. I don’t expect they’ll sign him, and if they do, I doubt he’ll play a meaningful role.
Back in the day, Bryant was a difference-making wide receiver. Most notably, he caught at least 12 touchdowns three years in a row (from 2012 to 2014). He finished with top-7 numbers in PPR leagues in each of those seasons.
But time goes by, and Bryant no longer has the speed and athleticism that made him a handful back in the day. Separation is a problem for him, turning too many throws into contested situations. He hasn’t played the last two years, and he wasn’t effective in his last three years with the Cowboys.
The Saints signed Bryant during the 2018 season, but he injured his Achilles before he ever got on the field for them. He was unable to find a team that wanted to sign him last year.
In 2015, Bryant caught only 31 of the 72 passes thrown his way, averaging only 5.6 yards per pass plays. That ranked 83rd among the 86 wide receivers that year. And in 2017, he averaged only 6.3 per attempt, 69th out of 85.
In his second and third seasons, Bryant averaged 9.0 and 10.0 yards per target – he was a different player at that time.
If the Ravens sign him, it will be to add another body to their group of receivers. They rotated various guys at that position last year, and I don’t know that Bryant would even be one of their top three. Hollywood Brown should be their primary receiver (in line, it seems, for a larger role) and Miles Boykin and Willie Snead are both back. The Ravens selected Devin Duvernay in the third round, and I’m not sure Bryant would get on the field more than him, either.
Even if he signs with Baltimore, Bryant isn’t a player who would be on my radar. I doubt that he would be among my top 80 wide receivers under any scenario.
|DEZ BRYANT, YEAR BY YEAR|