Tavon Austin: 5 Things You Need to Know About the West Virginia WR

Alessandro MiglioFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2013

Tavon Austin: 5 Things You Need to Know About the West Virginia WR

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    Someone call a hazmat unit—Tavon Austin's 2013 NFL draft stock is radioactive.

    The diminutive receiver has risen to the top of many boards at the wide receiver position, and he could defy history and go in the top 10. Here are five things you need to know about him.

    Combine results courtesy of NFL.com. College stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com.

Background

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    Full Name: Tavon Austin

    Birthday: March 15, 1991

    Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

    School: West Virginia

    Major: Multidisciplinary Studies

    Year: Senior

    Twitter: @Tayaustin01

     

    There is a reason Austin is such a dynamic receiver. He came into West Virginia as a fantastic running back, converting to wide receiver during his freshman year.

Collegiate Stats

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    The most dynamic player in the draft put up some mighty impressive numbers as part of a good offense.

    Austin hurt opposing defenses from all over the field, from taking handoffs and pitches to lining up in the slot and out wide. He can also be a weapon in the return game, though he was so involved in the WVU offense that it seemed to save him from overuse.

     

    Offense

      Receiving Rushing
    Year Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD
    2009 15 151 10.1 1 6 47 7.8 1
    2010 58 787 13.6 8 15 159 10.6 1
    2011 101 1186 11.7 8 16 182 11.4 1
    2012 114 1289 11.3 12 72 643 8.9 3
    Career 288 3413 11.9 29 109 1031 9.5 6

     

    Special Teams

      Kick Returns Punt Returns
    Year Ret Yds Avg TD Ret Yds Avg TD
    2009 17 426 25.1 1 0 0   0
    2010 12 230 19.2 0 0 0   0
    2011 36 938 26.1 2 19 268 14.1 0
    2012 32 813 25.4 1 15 165 11.0 1
    Career 97 2407 24.8 4 34 433 12.7 1

Draft Process

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    Measurables

    Height: 5'8.5"

    Weight: 174 lbs.

    Arm Length: 30"

    Hand Size: 9.125"

     

    Combine Results

    40-yard dash: 4.34 seconds (top performer)

    225-pound bench press reps: 14

    Broad jump: 120"

    Vertical jump: 32"

    20-yard shuttle: 4.01 seconds (top performer)

     

    Tavon Austin is an explosive player, and he can showcase that trait with or without pads.

    The incoming rookie was one of the fastest players at the NFL Scouting Combine, setting stopwatches afire with a 40 time of 4.25 seconds that would settle at 4.34 seconds, officially.

Overcoming History

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    Can Tavon Austin break the mold at receiver during the NFL draft?

    Over the past 25 years, only 10 of 44 receivers taken with a top-15 pick were under 6'0". None of them were quite as small as Austin, who is about the same size as Dexter McCluster.

    If the buzz is to be believed, Austin will go as high as the No. 8 pick. It will be interesting to see if he can buck history.

Observations

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    Nobody heads into the draft with more hype behind him than Tavon Austin, and you can see plenty of evidence of that on Twitter.

     

    "I only regret that I have but one pick and cannot trade up for Tavon Austin."—Nathan Hale, trying to lock up Austin in 1776.

    — Michael Schottey (@Schottey) April 25, 2013

     

    Studied all 15 of Tavon Austin's TDs from 2012. 14 of 15 would've counted in a 2 hand touch league. Defenders can't touch him! #Dynamic!

    — Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) April 2, 2013

     

    As with most draft prospects, where Tavon Austin ends up will have a major impact on his early success. Most explosive player available

    — Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 28, 2013

     

    Heard Tavon Austin tore it up at West Virginia. From a scout: No drops. Great speed. Ridiculous body control. Starting to sound like Top 20

    — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2013

     

    Finishing up my mock draft…I do have Tavon Austin going in the top 10.

    — Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) April 10, 2013

     

    Two potential top-10 picks that I can't seem to shake: Geno Smith to Oakland and Tavon Austin to Buffalo.

    — Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) April 11, 2013

     

    If 5'8 Tavon Austin goes in the top ten of the #NFLDraft, he'd be just the second WR under 5'11 since 1950 to do so, joining @desmondhoward

    — Chase Stuart (@fbgchase) April 25, 2013

     

    I don't know how much money Tavon Austin's agent makes but it's not enough. Masterful work. Reports have the guy No. 1 on every team's board

    — TC (@ThePigskinGuy) April 25, 2013