Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 2/2/12

Dez Bryant is widely considered to be one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL. As a first-round pick, he has been somewhat disappointing. The Cowboys expected Bryant to have an immediate impact on their offense and he has done just that — when he plays. A combination of injuries and mental check-outs in the second half of games have resulted in Bryant being an underachiever. Former Cowboys receiver and current Hall of Famer Michael Irvin believes Bryant will get it together. When he does, Irvin thinks he’ll be tough to stop.

“I thought Dez made great strides this year on the football field,” Irvin said according to the Dallas Morning News, noting that the third-year receiver will have to work on his conditioning. “He has a lot of room to continue to grow, but he made great strides. When Dez really locks it all in, understands it, Dez will be the best receiver in the NFL.”

Irvin didn’t say “one of the best,” he said “the best.”  We already know who his favorite NFL receiver was this past season, and it wasn’t the guy who will likely stand in the way of Irvin’s prediction Bryant prediction over the next several years.  That guy I’m referring to is Calvin Johnson.  Megatron is only three years older than Dez, and he is already one of the best — if not the best — receivers in the game.  With a young quarterback in Matthew Stafford who continues to improve, he’ll be tough to dethrone as the NFL’s best receiver over the next five years or so.

On a separate note, the Cowboys are likely thankful Irvin decided to provide some words of encouragement for their young star.  As we saw earlier in the season, some of Dallas’ former wide-outs haven’t exactly been supportive of Bryant.

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