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Steelers draft Jonathan Dwyer in 6th round

April 24, 2010 By: Admin Category: Draft/Free Agency

With the 19th pick in the sixth round (#188 overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select Jonathan Dwyer, RB from Georgia Tech.

This pick absolutely shocked me.  Not because it was a bad pick, but because it was a tremendously good pick.

I wrote about Jonathan Dwyer in my series on the Steelers’ needs going into the draft.  If you haven’t read that article, click here.  In that series, I talked about Dwyer, and pointed out that he was the best power back available in this year’s draft.

Dwyer was ranked by many as the second best running back in the entire draft.  He was generally considered to be a 1st or 2nd round draft pick.  So for the Steelers to get the running back who best meets their needs in the 6th round was absolutely amazing.

There were of course reasons for Dwyer’s drop.  He did not perform as well as expected at the NFL Scouting Combine.  Moreover, he failed a drug test at the Combine.  But he had warned teams in advance that he was going to fail the drug test.  He has attention deficit disorder, and has been taking medication for it since his youth.  This was reported to be the cause of the drug test failure.

At 5’11″. 229 lbs., Dwyer is a born power back.  He’s powerfully built, and excels at running between the tackles.  He is not particularly elusive, and will never be confused with Barry Sanders.  But if you want a back who is going to run downhill between the tackles, Jonathan Dwyer is the guy.

RB Jonathan Dwyer

Dwyer is can break arm tackles, and he is very difficult to bring down.  He’s a north-south runner who can get the tough yards that the Steelers failed to get last season.

He is not particularly fast, and won’t break a lot of long runs.  In particular, he’s not good at getting around the edge.  But between the tackles he is very good.

Dwyer came out of college a year early.  If he had stayed for his final season, he would have finished his career as Georgia Tech’s all-time leading rusher.  He was the ACC Player of the Year in 2008 when he led the league in rushing with 107.3 yards per game.

Some people think that his success was due to Head Coach Paul Johnson’s triple-option offense.  But I don’t believe this is the case.  As a freshman, he backed up Tashard Choice (now with the Dallas Cowboys), and averaged 5.3 yards per carry in Coach Chan Gailey’s pro style offense.

Dwyer is going to have to work on some skills when he joins the Steelers.  He was almost never asked to catch the ball in college, and he will need to learn to catch if he wants to be more than a 2-down running back.  Also, his blocking will have to improve, but he has the physique to be able to handle that assignment.

Overall, I think this is an outstanding draft pick for the Steelers.  He will be the perfect complement to Rashard Mendenhall.  Many fans thought that Mendenhall and Willie Parker made a nice combination as a power back and a speed back.  But that wasn’t really true.  Anyone who has actually watched Mendenhall play quickly realizes that he is not a power back, despite his size and incredibly muscular physique.  Mendenhall doesn’t like contact.  He’d rather run around the edge.  Perhaps this is due to his unfortunate injury at the hands of Ray Lewis.  But Mendenhall now goes into a ridiculous spin move anytime he feels contact coming.  He almost never takes on the tackler head-on anymore.  So Dwyer will now have the opportunity to relieve him of that burden.

To read about the Steelers’ other picks, click the name below:

Maurkice Pouncey - C, Florida

Jason Worilds - DE, VA Tech

Emmanuel Sanders - WR, SMU

Thaddeus Gibson - DE, Ohio State

Chris Scott - OT, Tennessee

Crezdon Butler - CB, Clemson

Stevenson Sylvester - LB, Utah

Jonathan Dwyer - RB, Georgia Tech

Antonio Brown - WR, Central Michigan

Doug Worthington - DT, Ohio State


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10 Comments to “Steelers draft Jonathan Dwyer in 6th round”

  1. Agree with most, but he has speed. Some players have speed in the 40 and some have it in pads. He rarely if ever got caught from behind and owns two of three longest runs in Tech history. You got a great back and heck of a kid.

  2. I hate to be a downer, but you get a B- on your homework. He is actually a VERY fast back. He was never caught from behind and always outran defensive backs even when they had an angle.

    He is actually always looking to bounce it and take it to the house, which is why some people think Anthony Allen will be a better fit for Tech’s offense.

    Dwyer is PERFECT for the NFL. He is big, can break tackles and fall forward, but is also looking for a long TD run. Think Michael Turner.

  3. look up this dudes runs on you tube. He is a long run highlight show!! NEVER caught from behind. Yes some of these highlights are against weaker competition but several of his runs are against FSU, Miami, UGA, LSU and Miss St, all teams with ‘speed’. As a senior in HS was second in the state of GA in 100M.

    He went in the sixth round because of a CRAPPY AGENT and letting JD participate in the combine KNOWING he was not in shape due to recovering from an injury in the Orange Bowl. The Steelers are getting a great RB!! Good for JD to play for a great organization!!!

    Hopefully JD shows up in camp with an attitude to show ‘the experts’ wrong.

  4. I agree with the above poster. He is crazy fast… I don’t know why he didn’t show up at the combine, but I’m pretty sure he either won or placed second in the Georgia state championship track meet (100 yard dash) as a senior in high school. He also consistently pulled away from DBs from Clemson, UGA, Miami, FSU, etc. on his myriad long runs. Look at this video and tell me that he won’t have long runs for y’all:

  5. I love that all of you guys are defending Dwyer’s speed. That’s good. But I still disagree with you. I’m not saying that he is like molasses. But he’s not fast either. You are probably looking at it from a Georgia tech standpoint. I am looking at it from an absolute standpoint. He is not Chris Johnson. He’s not Willie Parker. He’s not Mike Wallace. He is not going to outrun Troy Polamalu if Troy is trying to catch him. Ike Taylor is going to catch him pretty easily. Taylor Mays is going to catch him with ease. Heck, Lawrence Timmons might just run him down.

    The NFL is played at a different speed, and when you look at him relative to the speed he’s going to see at the next level, does not stand out. In the NFL, he is going to make his money with his power, NOT by outrunning people.

    So watching him outrun a Clemson DB is not very impressive to me.

    But don’t mistake that to mean that I don’t like him. I think he’s an absolute steal. I just don’t think that his speed will stand out against NFL players.

  6. Taylor Mays may catch him but JD will drag him all the way to the house!

  7. hiveredtech says:

    Dwyer ran a 4.52 at his pro day…and has run in the 4.4′s multiple times in his career. Mor importantly, he has had countless 40+ yard TD runs against FSU, Miami, Georgia, etc. where there is plenty of speed out there…and no one catches him. This is a young man that was a state 200m champ out of high school in Georgia.
    Trust me….he has open field speed and tremendous acceleration.

    Check these individual TD runs out:

    58 yds. against Miami:

    60 yds. against Georgia:

    66 yds against FSU:

    88 yds against Miss St. around edge:

    77 yds. against Duke:

  8. I’ve watched Dwyer since high school. He would’ve been a good pick in the second round, in the sixth round, that’s just ridiculous. He’ll be a starter by the end of the year.

  9. This articles fine and dandy, but I don’t know anybody in the world who rated dwyer as the second best RB in the draft…

  10. kshizzle says:

    Speed is relative. For his size Dwyer is fast. He is faster then Michael Turner and Turner is called the Turner the Bunner. I anticipate every single team that passed on him for another running back after CJ Spiller will be kicking themselves before too long. Also about his pass catching, I never saw him drop a pass thrown to him. Of course the GT Offense rarely passed to him but when they did he caught it.


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