INDIANAPOLIS -- Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer arrived at the NFL Scouting Combine with a lot of questions about whether he could translate from an option-offense running back to a pro-style tailback and if his weight gain to nearly 240 pounds the past two seasons was a sign that maybe he was prone to get even bigger.
Dwyer, the 2008 ACC Offensive Player of the Year, weighed in Friday at 229 pounds and spent a lot of time telling teams that the only reason he gained weight was because the coaching staff at Georgia Tech wanted him to add size so he could absorb the pounding he'd take in the old-school offense.
Dwyer, 20, is expected to be one of the first running backs selected and he hopes to improve his stock at the combine. The Atlanta-area native plans to tell us, in his words, about his experience at the combine in a daily written and video diary. What you'll learn about Dwyer is that he doesn't like needles, he likes his new friends and that he is dialed in to perform well when the running backs work out Sunday.
"When I first got here Thursday, a scout from a team showed us where our hotel rooms were, told us what to wear and where we had to meet before we went to the hospital. When we got to the hospital, the first thing they said was we had to get some blood work done. I have a needle-phobia. I told the nurse to stick me quick so I don't see the needle but I don't think she heard me.
"I saw the needle, my knees got weak and I almost passed out. They took like six tubes of blood and I was like, 'How much do you need?' I thought they were going to drain me. That was about the only thing I haven't liked.
"After that, we went through some introductions with our group leaders who told us what we needed to do. Then I met with some position coaches from all these teams: Houston, the Chargers, Jacksonville, Carolina, the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia and Dallas. It was all good to meet these guys face-to-face. They all wanted to know about me as a person and also about playing in the option offense.
"I have a lot of interviews set up Saturday.
"Friday was a big day for me. The first thing we did was the urine tests and then we got measured and weighed. I was 5-11, 229 (pounds). That was a big deal for me. I showed everybody I'd lost weight, how disciplined and focused I am. I think that opened some eyes. It should help me run a little faster. I just want to run in the 4.4, 4.5 range (in the 40-yard dash). I would love to get in the 4.4 range. That would be another way to open some eyes and maybe move up some draft boards.
"I've been thinking about this whole experience for months and I know I'm on task. My next thing is to focus on the bench press Saturday and these interviews with the teams. I'm going to show them that I'm smart; I'm on my game on and off the field."