(I updated this blog with some comments from Wes Bunting below)
Georgia Tech’s latest surge has done more than just elevate the Yellow Jackets to the No. 7 team in the country. It has raised Jonathan Dwyer to the No. 8 draft-eligible player in the nation, at least according to one scouting website.
In his “Super 30″ rankings updated this week, Wes Bunting of NationalFootballPost.com lists Dwyer, a junior, as the best running back on the board and the No. 8 overall NFL prospect, ahead of Cal’s Jahvid Best (16th) and Clemson’s C.J. Spiller (22nd). Bunting called Dwyer “a violent runner who exhibits good vision between the tackles and has the initial burst to separate from defenders at the second level.”
Dwyer, who hasn’t yet said that he will enter the draft, has rushed for 610 yards and six touchdowns in the last four games, with a 7.27 per carry average.
Bunting also has Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan as the No. 17 player in the draft.
The National Football Post rankings differ from Mel Kiper’s Big Board and the Scout’s Inc. Top 100 list (Both require ESPN Insider membership. But I’ll share this if each of you promise to mail me 50 cents to help defray my expenses. OK? OK.)
Kiper wrote he generally doesn’t list juniors on his Big Board unless they’re obviously a top 15 player. Only two running backs made his overall list of top 25 players: Spiller (12) and Best (19). He has Dwyer listed as the second-best junior running back, behind Best.
Kiper also lists Morgan as the 15th best overall player in the draft. Among juniors, he has Georgia’s Rennie Curran as the No. 2 outside linebacker, Tech’s Morgan Burnett as the No. 2 safety, Tech’s Demaryius Thomas as the No. 4 wide receiver and Georgia’s Reshad Jones as the No. 5 safety.
The Todd McShay/Scout’s Inc. Top 100 list, disagrees with Kiper and National Football Post. He lists Morgan as the No. 6 player in the draft and Dwyer at 34th. He has two Georgia players in his top 100, defensive tackle Geno Atkins (65) and Jeff Owens (109). Curran is not on his list.
I’ll try to check these lists once in a while to keep you up to date.
UPDATE: Here are some comments from Bunting:
♦ On Dwyer: “He’s a violent runner who not only possesses the ability to be physical in between the tackles, but exhibits an impressive initial burst in the open field with the first step to separate from defenders at the second level. Dwyer looks NFL ready right now and has the ability to carry the load at the next level and be an every down type of back. Plus, coming out of the option offense, I think he’s going to benefit greatly from lining up eight yards behind the [line of scrimmage] in the NFL and will be even more instinctive and natural running the ball inside then he is now. His combination or power, burst and lateral agility or second to none in college football.”
♦ On why he’s ahead of Spiller and Best: “I don’t know if Spiller is an every-down back. [He] looks more like a Felix Jones type runner to me. As for Best, [he has] big play ability, and might have a bit more upside then Dwyer, but isn’t as physical and might have some trouble staying healthy. Dwyer just looks more like a sure thing to me. A more physically gifted Jonathan Stewart type runner in the NFL.”
♦ On his own background: “I am the Director of College Scouting for the Nationalfootballpost.com. I have been scouting college football since 2002.”