Everyone is connecting this Dez decision with the bypassing of Moss in 1998, but I think there are more recent NFL draft comparisons...
1) This Dez pick reminds me of DeSean Jackson and Percy Harvin. Both fell precipitously due to (legitimate) character concerns. Both were hard to correctly evaluate: Jackson because of his size and 'tude, Harvin because of his gimmicky college offense. Both were brought into offenses where they were initially used as important but secondary receiving targets. Both were immediately productive both as receivers and on special teams. I think Dez is in this mold. He won’t be an All-Pro in his first year, and he doesn’t need to be. He’s different than Harvin and Jackson, but if his career arc is the same, we’re looking at some explosive plays as a rookie, and that’s what we need.
2) In a different way, this pick reminds me of the successful picks of Felix and Mike Jenkins two years ago at the end of Round 1. Had Felix had the Arkansas backfield to himself, his stats would have been otherworldly and he would’ve gone in the Top 15. As it was, he was available to us, and he was super valuable as a rookie before he got hurt. The jury remains out on Felix’s durability, but he could very easily have a Wesbrook-type career. Jenkins slid a bit because of character concerns, and he had to play more than he should’ve as a rookie because Henry got hurt (as usual). But by year 2, he was an All-Pro.
3) Dez is a nice cornerstone piece to a group of core players that has about a 5 year window to win a Super Bowl.
QB-Romo (30 when the season kicks off)
RB-Felix (23), Choice (25)
WR-Austin (26), Dez (22) Ogletree (23)
TE-Witten (28), Marty B (23)
OLB-Ware (28), Spencer (26)
CB-Jenkins (25), Scandrick (23)
With the exception of Witten and Ratliff, this is a core with about 5 more years before we see any age-related decline. All of the impact positions on both sides of the ball have been filled. We’re going to need to swap out our current cast on the interior O-Line and at ILB, but those are positions where there are good draft and mid-level FA options to make us at least average at those positions.