With the NFL Combine beginning later this week we thought we'd break down the four Tech players invited & give our NFL friends a little head start with a scouting report on each player. We've come to like former Ravens & Browns scout Daniel Jeremiah's site Move the Sticks a great deal & we'll use a template that he used when scouting in the NFL. Our first victim:
- Frame: 6'0", 233 pounds
- Vision/Instincts: this will be a question mark for NFL teams due to the spread option offense we employ. Can Dwyer start off seven yards deep in the backfield & run from the I-formation, exhibiting the vision to pick the proper hole? For us, we really don't have much concern about Dwyer's vision in a "conventional" offense. After all, he grew up & played at Tech as a freshman in a Pro-Style offense. Dwyer will find space & running room in any offense.
- Inside Run/Power: a strong suit. Dwyer is not particularly huge up top but possesses a ideal lower body; thick through the hips & thighs. A punishing inside runner who's accustomed to contact on every play. Will run through arm tackles & punish defenders in the open field. Can move a pile & carry tacklers if they hit him high. A durable runner who initiates contact & isn't afraid to deliver a blow.
- Homerun Ability/Acceleration/Speed: not shifty or elusive in the open field but rarely gets caught in space. Very good speed for someone his size & shows the ability to cut back & take good angles. One knock is it takes Dwyer several steps to get up to top speed. If he has that space, he's difficult to catch; however, he can be slow to accelerate which makes it easier for defenders to initiate contact.
- Elusiveness: Dwyer is a straight ahead runner with some cut back ability but his elusiveness is limited. Doesn't dance or make a lot of moves. Doesn't make anyone miss. Is able to pick his way through traffic & congestion near the line of scrimmage.
- Ball Security: exceptional. Very good technique; carries the ball with two hands in traffic & tight to the body in space. No concerns about fumbling.
- Blocking/Blitz Pick-up: Dwyer has shown he is willing to block in the run game it's blitz pick-up & pass blocking that are the big question mark. This is often times what keeps rookie runners off the field; their inability to pass protect. Dwyer will have a steep learning curve but he is smart so we have no doubt this skill set will evolve.
- Hands: rarely asked to catch the ball in college but when he was showed soft & strong hands. Catches the ball away from his body & shows good concentration. Will need to perform well in Combine workouts to allay scouts fears about this area of his game.
It's between Dwyer & Fresno State's Ryan Matthews as to who is the first "every down" back to come off the board so The Diesel's performance at the Combine will be important. Dwyer reminds us an awful lot of a running back here in town: Michael Turner. Stylistically they are clones & we see a career path along the same line as Turner's. It would certainly help Jon if he can go to a "Denver-Style" (under Shanahan/Alex Gibbs) running attack where he's asked to make one cut & hit the hole with authority. We see him excelling in this type of attack. On the down side, teams are trending toward taking running backs later in the draft & we could see Dwyer falling in to the early second round. Possible landing places for The Diesel: Houston (20), San Diego (28 & the most popular guess), Detroit (34), Cleveland (38), Seattle (40). It also wouldn't surprise us to see Belichek trade up higher into the second to get Dwyer. A great combine certainly will help the cause so here's hoping for success in Indy this week.....