When Jerry Rice talks about wide receiver play, people stop and listen to the best of all-time at the position.

Appearing on ESPN’s program “NFL Live” this week, Rice gave high praise to Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, who is preparing for his third professional season. A lot of people talk about Bryant and send high praise his way and it’s about time for the former first-round draft pick from Oklahoma State to step up. Fortunately, he hasn’t been dogged with offseason stories of owing money all over the country this year.

“I had a chance to meet this guy in Dallas and he’s a humongous receiver,” Rice said Bryant, according to the Dallas Morning News. “If he can get his head on straight, Tony Romo’s going to look for him more and they’re going to be incredible out on the football field.”

Rice was asked to rank the top five wideouts in the NFL under 26 and put Bryant, 23, in that class. The rest of the list? It included Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown (23), the Giants’ Victor Cruz (25), Cincinnati’s A.J. Green (23), Minnesota’s Percy Harvin (24) and Atlanta’s Julio Jones (24).

We’re not sure Harvin belongs in that category but Bryant surely belongs on the list. We’ll have to wait and see if he can get his head on straight.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune