Tag:Jonathan Dwyer
Posted on: April 19, 2010 1:47 pm
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Failed drug test could knock McCoy out of draft

According to multiple reports, including this one by Fox's Jay Glazer and Alex Marvez, USC tight end Anthony McCoy and Georgia Tech running back Jonathan Dwyer each failed drug tests administered at the Combine.

Dwyer was found to have amphetamines in his system, something that may not have a negative impact on his draft stock due to the fact that many teams knew about his prescription for a pre-existing condition. Furthermore, he has not had any previous off-field problems at Georgia Tech.

The news is much darker, however, for McCoy, who tested positive for marijuana.

McCoy is considered one of the better all-around tight ends in the 2010 class. While he lacks the speed associated with today's hybrid receiving specialists, he's proven to be an effective short to intermediate yardage target and is perhaps this year's best blocker at the position.

McCoy, however, has struggled with discipline throughout his career at USC. He was suspended due to academic violations on multiple occasions, including twice his senior year. McCoy was suspended from the team before the season began and then again for the Emerald Bowl, what would have been his final game in a USC uniform.

On their own, McCoy's academic struggles wouldn't be enough to do more than raise a red flag for most teams. The failed drug test, however, when put in the context of his other issues, will certainly be enough to take him off many teams' boards... enough in fact that some scouts feel he could slip out of the draft entirely. 
Posted on: April 16, 2010 12:21 pm
 

S Burnett -- the "wow" workout no one knows

It happens every year. There is a workout or two that slip through the cracks when the Pro Days are going strong that somehow doesn't get the attention it deserves.

This year that workout was the Georgia Tech Pro Day.

While all of the attention on that day was placed upon defensive end Derrick Morgan and running back Jonathan Dwyer, in reality, free safety Morgan Burnett was the star of the show.

His numbers, while all impressive, were led by a 3.92 second short shuttle -- the fastest verified time from any player tested at the Combine or any Pro Day this year. His 11'08 broad jump is also a spectacular number.

As a point of comparison, Fresno State cornerback A.J. Jefferson led all Combine participants with a 4.00 second time in the short shuttle and Virginia cornerback Chris Cook led all in Indianapolis with an 11 foot broad jump. 

Burnett was unable to workout at the Combine due to a strained hamstring.

Measuring in at 6-1 (3/8) and 209 pounds, Burnett was clocked at 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash, among the fastest times of any safety tested this year. He also posted a 39.5" vertical jump, an 11'08" broad jump and a 6.87 second 3-cone drill.

Folks, those are staggering numbers that deserve attention.

I've spoken with teams who feel that Burnett is a lock for the middle of the second round. Based on these numbers, Burnett should have been included in my previous post -- which identified five players who could be surprise first round picks.

In reality, the people who matter -- NFL scouts -- fully know Burnett's impressive workout results. An estimated 20 teams were represented at the workout, including three head coaches. While Gil Brandt and the staff at NFL.com typically do a fabulous job of posting the "official" results from each workout, this one inexplicably was not reported.  
Posted on: March 15, 2010 1:56 pm
 

Early results from Georgia Tech Pro Day

The highly touted prospects from Georgia Tech are proving well worth the acclaim so far this morning, according to league sources at the scene.

Defensive end Derrick Morgan, the highest rated Yellow Jacket, has looked good in positional drills. His burst upfield and lateral agility have been especially impressive.

Running back Jonathan Dwyer, who may have had the most riding on today's performance after a disappointing workout at the Combine, helped his cause by clocking in at 4.51 and 4.54 in the 40-yard dash. Dwyer, who had dropped several balls at the Combine, was significantly improved as a receiver today. Dwyer's times and improved hands were especially impressive considering it was pretty wind, I am told.

Safety Morgan Burnett also helped himself by clocking in at a 4.43, according to one scout's watch. He also showed great explosiveness with a 40" vertical and 11'0 broad jump.

Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, as expected, was unable to participate due to the broken foot he suffered preparing for the Combine. Thomas, who is still in a walking boot, is hoping to work out for scouts prior to the draft.
Posted on: February 26, 2010 3:00 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2010 3:47 pm
 

RB Dwyer's small hands could be a big issue

Too much can be made out of the size and speed shown by prospects at the Combine.

If there is one number that has traditionally scared scouts, however, it has been hand size for ball-carriers -- especially for running backs. Small hands mean less protection of the football, at least theoretically.

For that reason, Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer, who officially only had 5 fumbles in over 550 touches with the 'Jackets, could see his stock slip this week.

The 5-11 1/4, 229 pound Dwyer has the smallest hands of any true tailback measured at the Combine this year. His hands, measured from the end of his thumb to his small (pinkie) finger measured in at only 8 and 5/8 inches. Only diminutive all-purpose back Dexter McCluster (5'8 3/4, 172 pounds) measured in with smaller hands among the 26 backs here. McCluster's hand came in at 8 and 3/8 of an inch.

As a comparison, top rated running back CJ Spiller, who measured in at 5105, 196 pounds, has 10 and 1/4" hands.

Considering that scouts already questioned how well Dwyer would project to a pro offense after playing in Paul Johnson's triple option attack, this is shaping up to be a bad start to the week for a back whose production (nearly 2,800 yards over 2008-09) should warrant plenty of NFL attention.

Posted on: February 22, 2010 9:09 pm
 

LT's release clears the way for AJ to target a RB

I consider the Chargers' AJ Smith to be one of the better talent evaluators in the NFL. He is willing to take a risk in the first round -- see DE Luis Castillo and CB Antonio Cromartie as examples -- but often gets immediate returns with his picks.

He isn't, however, the most difficult to predict.

The Chargers, like an increasing number of teams, have seemingly put aside the mantra of always taking the "best available player" to instead look to fill immediate needs in the first round.

Consider this past April. Smith needed a pass rusher, as the Chargers, mostly due to the injury to Shawne Merriman, dropped from 5th in the league in sacks in 2007 (42) to 31st a year later. Smith selected pass rush specialist Larry English out of Northern Illinois, converting the former defensive end to a rush linebacker.

With questionable depth at cornerback and safety a year earlier, rival scouts weren't surprised to see the Chargers select versatile defender Antoine Cason in the first round.

A year earlier, with a clear need for a receiver, Smith took LSU's Craig "Buster" Davis in the first round.

Though Davis hasn't panned out as expected, Smith's strategy has generally been very effective and a key component to the Chargers' ascension to the top of the AFC West.

The release of LaDainian Tomlinson opens up a huge hole at running back for the Chargers.

This team, of course, is clearly built around quarterback Philip Rivers and the passing game. Darren Sproles has the speed and elusiveness needed to star in this offense and the team has a suitable big back in Jacob Hester for the tough yardage. Still, a workhorse back -- to be used much like the Saints used Pierre Thomas -- is a definite need for this club.

Considering the talent likely to be available when the Chargers are on the clock at No. 28, don't be surprised at all when AJ Smith takes his pick between Fresno State's Ryan Mathews or Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer.

After all... they'd fill a need.
Posted on: February 17, 2010 1:08 pm
 

Suh looking forward to working out in Indy

I spoke to Ndamukong Suh yesterday for an article on his and other prospects' preparation for the pre-draft workouts. Unlike most of the top talents of recent years, Suh is fully planning on taking advantage of the hundreds of scouts attending the Combine and will work out there.

"I plan on doing every last bit of that Combine," Suh told me during a phone interview. "I'm looking forward to all of the drills; taking care of business in every last piece of that. I'm not going to shy away from anything. The only way I wouldn't do that would be if I wasn't 100% with my body."

Suh went on to explain that he is at 100% and essentially has been all year long, aside from "some bumps and bruises during the season."

As impressive as I expect Suh to be in workouts, his time to shine might be in front of the podium during the media and team interviews. Suh is much more cerebral and soft-spoken than the ferocity of his game and physicality of his position might lead one to believe. In a time when every front office asks themselves if their first round pick is truly someone that can be "the face of the franchise," Suh will impress.

Suh has been training with former Olympian Michael Johnson at the Michael Johnson Performance Center just outside of Dallas, Texas. Among the other notables training there are Texas' Sergio Kindle, LSU receiver Brandon LaFell, Mississippi's Greg Hardy and Dexter McCluster and Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer.
Posted on: February 11, 2010 6:11 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2010 6:14 pm
 

Michael Johnson Performance Boasts Big Names

I traveled last year to Athletes Performance Institute in Tempe, Arizona to get a firsthand look at the training that goes on prior the Combine. Following this trip, I also spoke to gold medal winner and world record holder Michael Johnson about the performance center which bears his name and his work with high profile NFL prospects prior to the Combine.

Johnson boasted an impressive class last year, including first round picks Michael Crabtree, Knowshon Moreno and Brandon Pettigrew.

Some of his detractors were quick to point out that Moreno and Pettigrew were disappointingly slow in workouts and that Crabtree, Johnson's most celebrated prospect, never did work out for scouts.

Those detractors must not have carried much weight, however, as Johnson boasts an impressive group of prospects this year -- even more impressive than last's year's crop.

Among those signed up to work with Johnson is Ndamukong Suh, LSU wide receiver Brandon LaFell, Georgia Tech running back Jonathan Dwyer, Texas pass rusher Sergio Kindle, Kansas wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe, Mississippi defensive end Greg Hardy and his former teammate, Dexter McCluster, among others.

A strong showing by these athletes in workouts this year not only will boost their own stock, it could further improve Michael Johnson's profile within the pre-combine training community.

Posted on: September 17, 2009 2:17 pm
 

Junior DE Derrick Morgan the one to watch tonight

It used to be that any time the Miami Hurricanes took the field, NFL scouts flocked to their sideline. Rebuilding over the past few seasons, however, has made it so that most scouts have been paying more attention to their opponents rather than those hailing from The U.

Tonight's game between Georgia Tech and Miami is no different as the three elite talents to watch are Yellow Jacket juniors Derrick Morgan (DE), Jonathan Dwyer (RB) and Morgan Burnett (FS).

Though the running back Dwyer gets much of the attention, Georgia Tech's consistently in churning out highly rated defensive linemen and Morgan's early season success has him flying up draft boards. Morgan, who has 5 sacks over his first two games, was especially dominant last week in a nationally televised game against Clemson. Morgan had a game-high 10 tackles, a personal-best four tackles for loss (13 yards), and three sacks (nine yards). I've spoken to NFL scouts who believe that when it is all said and done, Morgan could leap ahead of SEC stars Greg Hardy (Ole Miss) and fellow junior Carlos Dunlap (Florida) to be the highest rated DE potentially available for the 2010 NFL Draft.

While the Yellow Jackets have the better draft-eligible talent, Miami has some intriguing seniors to keep an eye on. Left tackle Jason Fox has been rising up the board recently for his play. He won't be matched up often against Morgan due to the fact that Morgan typically lines up at left defensive end (against the right tackle), but his athleticism is worth watching -- especially on the few occasions they are pitted against each other.

Inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton, a potential riser in a relatively weak class at inside linebacker (at least after Florida's Brandon Spikes) will have to be especially cognizant on his reads against the Yellow Jackets' unique triple option offense.

 
 
 
 
 
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