Running Back Week: Jonathan Dwyer

All week, we’ll be giving a scouting preview of a different running back who are coming out in the upcoming NFL Draft who may or may not fit the zone blocking system. Today, we’ll talk about a guy who may very well be available at the top of the 2nd Round: Jonathan Dwyer

Who is he?

Jonathan Dwyer, from ColinAke.com

Dwyer is coming out after his Junior season at Georgia Tech; in the last three years, he’s averaged 6.2 yards per carry over 40 games; in his last two years, both as the primary back, he’s averaged 13 touchdowns / season and has had exactly 1,395 yards in both years. From what I’ve seen of him, he lacks lightning acceleration, but once he gets going, he is often gone. He’s the closest thing to a #1 RB in this draft, and has great size at 6’0”, 235 lbs.

How does he fit the scheme?

Dwyer is a tough one to read; on some hands, he looks like a perfect fit:  he excels between the tackles, blocks well, has good burst through a hole, and is very decisive. Most importantly: in 3 years, he has never once fumbled the ball, a huge plus for Carroll.

Dwyer has a lot of upside, but it’s hard to read his full skill set coming out of Georgia Tech, which uses a triple-option offense. A lot of the accounts I’ve read indicate that he looks out of shape, a little overweight; he doesn’t run with the punishing style someone of his size should. He has a very funny running style, which isn’t a knock necessarily, just a statement: he looks like he’s moving very slowly, when in fact his insanely long strides are putting him way in front of defenders. That said, he needs to get to open field before he gets in stride, and that just didn’t happen often in college.

Summary

Dwyer is an attractive pick, and his 2nd Round draft stock will be cemented if he weighs in around 220-230 at the Combine, but he is a bit of a risk. I still don’t see the Hawks going with a Running Back quite this early unless they truly believe Dwyer could be an every down back. On paper, he looks like a great pair to Justin Forsett, but as with Spiller, Dwyer doesn’t quite offer what you would think he does. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – both he and Spiller offer some nice surprises, too – but there are more essential holes to fill in the first two rounds, in my opinion.

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