Georgia Tech Junior
PROS: Has excellent power and good balance and is very hard to bring at times. Keeps his feet moving after contact and fights for extra yards. Tends to crave contact on the second level and has a good stiff arm. Shows some quickness and cutting ability and able to sidestep a defender in the hole. Shows ability and potential as a blocker in pass protection because of his size and strength.
CONS: Doesn't seem to show a lot of vision and will dance too much at times in the backfield. Doesn't always run behind his pads.
OVERVIEW: Dwyer plays in Tech's flexbone triple option, which really isn't a scheme that is conducive to NFL running. Basically there isn't a lot of variety for him besides the toss sweep and dive play. So despite the physical tools, I'm not sure he has developed the vision necessary to be a good runner on the vast variety of other plays he'll be asked to run in the NFL.
NFL FORECAST: You like Dwyer's potential and there are times when he reminds you of a player like Marion Barber with his power running. And I think he could be a solid feature back for some team, particularly if/when he improves in pass protection. And maybe it's just because of the scheme, but there seems to be something missing from Dwyer's game, and I can't put my hand quite on it. But I would compare it to the lack of the "it" factor when watching a quarterback. So at this point, I really don't trust Dwyer. At least not to come in right away and be an impact player as a feature back. I would expect him to get off to a relatively slow start much like Rashard Mendenhall or Cedric Benson. And a slow start meaning that he'll probably have to be a complementary runner and won't have quite the impact even that role that people expect within his first year or two. If there are intangibles for running backs and they need them to succeed at the NFL level, then I have yet to see them from Dwyer. But again, that might have been their scheme holding him back. So I would say there is a buyer's beware on Dwyer. I think he's too talented to be a bust, and really there haven't been that many "true" busts at this position in the pros. Sure, plenty of disappointing players (Ron Dayne, T.J. Duckett, William Green, Chris Perry, Reggie Bush, etc.), but rarely are running backs complete non-factors as pros unless injuries are the problem. But Dwyer is a boom/bust prospect that will probably either be the next Larry Johnson or the next T.J. Duckett.
ATL FORECAST: Dwyer wouldn't be a bad fit here in Atlanta because he offers the type of powerful, workhorse back that Mularkey tends to prefer. But his immediate contributions to the team would be fairly minimal since he doesn't seem the type that can be a serviceable third down option off the bat. So he'd only probably only play minimally as a rookie, and only get reps when Turner was injured. Perhaps if Turner continues a downward decline, he could be thrust into the starting lineup midway through his second season. But if Turner continues to play at a relatively high level in 2011 and beyond, Dwyer isn't really going to see the field. He could make a good successor for Turner, but basically it'd be a Ricky Williams-Deuce McAllister or Marshall Faulk-Steven Jackson situation, where both players really couldn't co-exist on the same team. So you'd have to get rid of one, presumably Turner. So really drafting Dwyer would only be smart move for the Falcons if they believe this is likely to be Turner's last year in Atlanta. Otherwise, they are probably better off targeting a player that is bit more complementary to Turner, i.e. can contribute immediately on third downs.
VALUE: Dwyer is a first round talent, but again I don't really trust him. I'd feel comfortable taking him in the early part of the second round in the Top 40, where if he does turn into T.J. Duckett it wouldn't bite me in the butt. But a team looking for a workhorse back that already has a third down option like Houston or San Diego wouldn't be mistaken if they used a Top 25 pick on him.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average,4-very good, 5-elite
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.