At one point ESPN draft guru Todd McShay had Jonathan Dwyer ranked as a top 30 prospect for the 2010 NFL Draft. McShay had Dwyer rated as high as number 3 on his list of top running backs available in the draft. However, questions about Dwyers conditioning and work ethic came into focus following a performance, which by many, was considered poor. Sometimes pro sports can be unforgiving Dwyer, at the time, was 20 years old and didn’t prepare for the combine how many believed he should have. His draft stock fell enormously; so much in fact that he went from being a fringe first round pick to being the Steelers sixth round pick.
So far during his short Steelers career Dwyer has shown flashes of the potential that made him a highly touted prospect out of Georgia. So far he has amassed 151 yards rushing on 25 carries for an average just over 6 yards per carry and one touchdown. His most explosive NFL play came on a 76 yard run against the Tennessee Titans last season. Although questions of Dwyer’s conditioning have followed him into the NFL he showed he has good speed on the longest run of his short career. The only player that could catch him was cornerback Courtland Finnegan, who is known for his speed, and even he had to pull Dwyer down by his collar receiving a horse collar penalty in the process. Dwyer also has the size and strength to be a power runner. His playing weight is listed around 255-26o making him a tough back to get on the ground.
The Steelers will need running back help in 2012 with Rashard Mendenhall likely to miss at least the beginning of the season, due to his recovering from a torn ACL, the Steelers could use a breakout year from Dwyer. Behind Isaac Redman, who really hasn’t played much as a starter, the Steelers do not have any proven backs to put behind Ben Roethlisberger.
According to Dwyer’s twitter feed fans may be able to relax about Dwyer’s condition. He will be joining Ike Taylor among others in Orlando, Florida to work with conditioning Coach Tom Shaw. Shaw has worked with Taylor for years and we all know the kind of shape Taylor is in year in and year out.[blackbirdpie id="190614312262447106"]
If Dwyer can get his speed back from a broken foot injury that ended his 2011 season and come into camp ready to go he could compete for time in the Steelers backfield in 2012. Dwyer can easily reach his potential and could become a star back for the Steelers. All in all there is no question that Jonathan Dwyer is a Steeler ready to shine.
Other Steelers Ready to Shine: