Prospect: Tavon Austin , WR, West Virginia
Measurables: 5’9” 176lbs
Strengths: Nobody is comparing Tavon Austin to Carolina’s Steve Smith, yet, except in physical stature. Steve Smith ran a sub 4.5 in the 40 yard dash. Next month’s scouting combine should prove most interesting for Austin. He can change direction at the drop of a dime making defenders grab at air on most occasions. Not afraid to play the slot or catch passes in traffic. Has the potential to be the downfield threat most teams are looking for. Austin is a mismatch for any defense. Think Percy Harvin for the Vikings. When healthy Harvin is a nightmare for any opposing defender. Austin fits the mold to a tee. Back in November, he absolutely decimated the Oklahoma defense, along with breaking a few ankles, with 344 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Austin along with quarterback Geno Smith, were the centerpieces of Dana Holgorsen’s pass-happy offense. In this offense, Austin is most dangerous when getting the feed from Geno and just flat-out beating the defense to the end zone. Why should the next level be any different?
Weaknesses: There’s not a whole of negatives to point out in Austin’s game except perhaps his height and weight. Let’s be honest here, at 5’9” and 176 lbs, he isn’t going to out-physical any defender in the NFL. But that shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance as teams are looking to create mismatches against their opponents and Austin does exactly that. The one thing coaches need to be aware of is his ability to get off the line after being jammed at the point of contact. Can he recover versus press-man? If he’s given a free release he’ll take the ball to the house. He’s that dangerous. He also needs to improve his route-running. He tends to round off while hitting the stem of the route. Needs to be crisper.
Projection: Austin projects to be a late first round to early second round prospect
Prospect Profile completed by:
Marc Lucoff is DraftInsider’s Head Scout of WR/DB’s
Follow Marc on Twitter @Ryans46d
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