ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper said on Tuesday that Georgia Tech Jonathan Dwyer was a high-risk pick in the upcoming NFL draft in April.
Dwyer, who rushed for more 2,700 yards the past two seasons, is one of four Tech underclassmen who are preparing for next week’s combine in Indianapolis.
In a video on ESPN.com, Kiper said he likes Dwyer, but has concerns about his weight (Dwyer was listed at 235 in last year’s media guide). He also questioned his receiving skills, as well as his kick-return ability. He said he will still likely go in the first round.
Interestingly, he said Clemson’s C.J. Spiller has the biggest upside. I would flip Spiller, who is somewhat small to be an every-down back in the NFL, with Dwyer, who likely has a lot of skills that teams haven’t seen yet.
For example, Dwyer’s receiving skills weren’t really needed at Tech because of the nature of the offense, but when he did catch passes he made teams pay, particularly against FSU two years ago and against Iowa in the Orange Bowl. Plus, he was a decent baseball player at Kell High School if memory serves, so he’s got hand-eye coordination.
Going back to Dwyer’s weight, I’m not sure what the concern is, other than teams sometimes fall in love with dimensions rather than production. Dwyer was plenty quick enough to outrun defenses once he got into the secondary. I assume that teams are worried that Dwyer’s weight could increase, which was a concern that some teams had about USC’s Lendale White, for example, a few years ago.
I got to speak to former Tech safety Morgan Burnett during a break from his workouts in Orlando. He said he’s been working on improving his speed and technique and that he’s looking forward to the combine next week. You can read more about Burnett, Dwyer, Demaryius Thomas and Derrick Morgan.
Kiper said he think Burnett could go in the second round, according to colleague D. Orlando Ledbetter, who was on a conference call with Kiper earlier in the day.
In the biggest surprise, Kiper has moved Thomas into the first-round of his most recent mock draft. It’s interesting because he doesn’t have Thomas listed as one of the top five WRs in his position breakdowns, but has him as the second WR taken. On the flip side, The Sporting News’ Matt Hayes says Thomas is one of the most overrated prospects because he said he ran two routes, curl or go, at Tech.
Please check back soon for more details on why Kipers thinks Dwyer is a high-risk pick.
In other news, A-back Roddy Jones and defensive tackle Logan Walls, both management majors, were named to the ACC’s All-Academic team on Wednesday.
To be eligible, a player must have earned a 3.00GPA for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career.