If there’s ever a good year to lose Mike Wallace and his blazing speed, it’s this one. This is the fastest wide receiving class that I can remember. No fewer than 14 wideouts broke the 4.5-second mark in the 40-yard dash. That’s exactly the kind of speed that Pittsburgh is looking to replace.
The West Virginia product silenced the critics with a dominant performance at the combine.
He set the pace with a 4.34 40-yard dash in the first run of the day for wideouts and never looked back. Austin ran crisp routes and showed explosiveness in and out of cuts.
He also looks very compact and well-built. In my opinion, he’s become a legitimate first-round option for the Steelers, albeit a long shot.
Texas A&M’s Swope posted the same time as Austin, but he’s four inches taller and about 30 pounds heavier. That took me by surprise, as I didn’t expect to see that kind of speed from the Aggie.
He didn’t blow me away during positional drills, but he ran routes with precision as advertised. He could be an option in the second-to-fourth round range. Call him a combine winner in my book.
I have no idea what position the Steelers would have Denard Robinson play. As far as I’m concerned, though, Robinson can do whatever he wants.
The former Michigan quarterback has shown enough grit, determination and athleticism to succeed at the next level, and it showed at the combine. He also posted a 4.43 in the 40-yard dash.
Robinson may need surgery to correct the nerve issue that kept him out of the bench press, but all in all he has shown tremendous improvement as a receiver since the Senior Bowl.
The Steelers could give him a look as an Antwaan Randle-El or Dexter McCluster-type who can do damage in a variety of ways on the field. He’s also much more solid than I thought he was when I watched him at Michigan, so with the right coaching he could potentially punish defensive backs like Hines Ward did.