Tavon Austin

WR/KR West Virginia

5-8, 174, 4.34, 4.01 SS!

32”, 10' Broad! 14 Reps,

 

 

 

Tavon Austin Times (Make-you-miss-Quickness)².

By TOM

His ability to stop on a dime and cutback is legendary. His ability to stop and start turns defenders into Superman, whiffing through the air with the greatest of ease. His ability to plant one foot and turn in another direction at great speed is not human. He really shows all his flash and dash when he runs the ball. He goes more side to side with every step then forward. I don’t know how anyone hits this kid. 230 all purpose yards per game. Sensational with the ball in his hands. Great ankle flexion and change of direction. 

With BB’s penchant for small Wide Receivers, a lot of Draftnics are penciling him in at New England. He is small, but is one of those rare players that has special quickness, like Welker, and special speed, like Percy Harven. He also has four Kick returns touchdowns. He will also line up at Tailback and take the handoff, like Percy Harvin did at Florida. He started three games at RB this year do to injury. He touches the ball a ridiculous amount of times per game for such a small guy. He had close to 30 touches against Oklahoma, where he started at Tailback. 

He lines up all over the field. He is the motion guy. He seems to rarely line in the same spot three times in a row. He will run a lot of end-around, both inside and outside of Geno, and other WR runs. He also runs an odd Option. Where the ball is snapped to the QB, who in turn tosses it to Austin. Then he runs the Option with a RB running outside of him. He becomes the Wildcat QB instead of Geno, but they still snap the ball to Smith. Which makes me wonder why they run the Wildcat that way. Does Geno refuse to run the Option? Yet refuse to come out from under center for the Wildcat? Is that a negative on Geno. While I think Bailey is the better pure WR, Austin is a better spark player and better with the ball in his hands. I think an adept comparison of Austin is that he is a nice blend of Wes Welker and Percy Harvin. He will also run Screens lined up in the backfield, sometimes like a FB. 

Nice blocker. Not afraid to stick his nose into the LB on the outside run. Stronger runner than I thought. He can break some tackles with his strong legs, sometimes. This kid is fun to watch. He is so electric with the ball in his hands that it can be stunning sometimes. He does a nice job changing speeds to follow blockers. He is not just an all out dash guy all the time. Shows nice vision and patience with the ball in his hands. Terrific running the Stretch. When he cuts back against the grain D-Coordinators have strokes on the sideline. Returns Punts as well.

He has that knack for not taking the big hit, and so he is able to stay on the field and keep playing. His quickness and speed in space makes very good defenders look foolish. He is one of those guys that makes defenders nervous, which takes away their aggression. He turns excellent defenders tentative with his TTC speed and make you miss quickness. He has small hands, but is a natural hands catcher. Another thing that worries GMs about small players is can they hold onto the ball. I've seen him take some big shots, and not lose the ball once. He plays with excellent ball security. He is the best player in this Draft on the edge. He is just a stunning nightmare in space on the edge.

He is a smart player who knows when to get out of bound, when to dive into the turf, and how to stay healthy. He has great instincts to cutback against the grain. He shows nice patience at the line, and will slow to wait for a hole. Then blast off like a rocket between the stars. 

However, what him so draftable is his quickness and speed out in space. He is excellent running short and intermediate patterns. I did not see him run a lot of deep patters Like Percy Harvin, he will have to work on catching the deep ball in the NFL. He makes more big plays with his feet than hands; His big plays are a result of running with the ball in his hands, not running deep patterns and catching the ball with his hands. He and Patterson are two most dynamic receivers in this Draft with the ball in their hands. 

Like Harvin he was a high school RB. However, unlike Harvin he was a Slot WR at WVU. So he has played in the Slot, and played very well. He garnered 1,321 and 12 TDs on 118 catches last season. Plus, he garnered 609 yard and 3 TDs on 72 Carries including the Bowl game. 

Austin is going to go higher than expected. The two main types of offense in the NFL have been the offense with West Coast principles in a Zone-Blocking scheme, and the old school vertical principles. However, a new offense is infecting the NFL, the Spread. Teams like the Pats, who have a lot of West Coast principles in a Zone-Blocking scheme, are moving more and more to three, four, and five Wide formations as their base defense. As the offenses spread more and more, the little dynamic players who can make defenders miss in space become more and more valuable. 

Austin Vs Oklahoma

Austin was a Running Back in high school. So he is still learning the WR positions. His ability to run deep routes is not what it should be in regards to his speed. He obviously returned Kicks for UWV. He was not the best KR in College. He probably will do it in the NFL, but I don't think that will be his best role (0:01). In fact with his make you miss quickness, I think he would make a better punt returner in the NFL. However, that might open him up to injuries, which you don't want to do with such a small dynamic guy. 

During the season their were so many injuries to the RB that Austin started and became the primary ball carrier for the team. It hurt his development as a WR a little, but it sure showed his toughness, heart, and durability (0:10). You can see he is lined up essentially at I-Form depth, only in the shotgun behind Bailey. He has nice hands on short and intermediate throws. He grabs this reception so naturally. Can you say, "make you miss quickness" (0:16). UWV did a ton of things to get the ball in his hands, because he is as dynamic as anybody in this Draft with the ball in his hands. Watch him plant his foot and cutback against a very highly regarded Safety, and then dance between four defenders (0:27). Jones made a nice recovery to tackle him, but Austin has those instincts that you just can't teach. 

He ran a lot right up the gut in the Option Offence. he has that knack for not taking the straight-on big hit. This time he took the big hit from behind, which is rare (0:34). Early on he ran a lot of plays that were very similar to Percy Harvin at Florida, who was also an RB in high school. They really did a nice job converting him into a Wes Welker Slot Receiver at UWV. Here he is in the Slot, with a terrific block on a bigger guy. That is an all effort block. It looks like the big guy shed him, but when the ball carrier popped outside, Austin got back underneath his pads and fought him for 20-yards down field (1:01). I think that was my favorite play of his in this game. 

He is so quick at finding the little Seam and slicing through it (1:12). He just keeps slicing through the line, and almost spun it for a big one. Reminds me a little of Woodhead on that run (1:20). This is where they misused him. The Option offense too often calls for the RB to just go straight up the gut, with the QB threaten the edge. This is a guy you want springing to the sideline. Anytime he is sprinting to the sideline the offense is winning. Just watch defenders try and catch him in the open field (1:28). One of the reason he is so durable is that he knows when to go down, and when to hop out of bounds. He is completely corralled by defenders, so he gets everything he can and hops out of bounds without ever really being touched (1:40). He is so subtle, quick, and has such great lateral burst in space; Defenders just can't run at him full speed, or he will juke their jocks off. First, watch the subtle move to trap the D-End inside the ORT block. Jefferson has him lined up again, and he plants a foot, and explodes laterally around him. Then he gets what he can and hops out of bounds. He could have gotten a yard or two more, and taken the big hit on the last two plays. However, you take enough of those big hits and you're on the sideline just asked Julian Edelman, and now Danny Amendola. He goes virtually untouched again for another long TD, and scoots out of bounds (1:50). Little guys have to learn how to survive the brutality of the NFL. Something this kid learned early. 

His great quickness is not just side to side, which is how I usually define quickness. Watch this stop and start move that just embarrasses a defender. He makes more guys whiff while flying through the air than anybody in this Draft (1:58). The past two plays are really not what you want him to be doing (2:07). Here he is the Slot again. He really has developed himself into a nice Slot Receiver. Did you see that little skip step. Then boom, he burst open on the Out. Then slowly he turns, inch by inch, and fear seeps into the heart of the D-Coordinator. Because you do not want this guy free in the open field (2:17). You can really see the pattern here. He uses that one foot burst to get outside (2:25). Rounds his patterns a little sometimes, because he runs them so fast. 

This play is an incredible display of his speed and quickness, but running on the goal line is not really what you would draft this kid to do (2:34). Finally back in the Slot. My biggest question with him is his ability to track and catch the deep ball. Everyone tends to look at his 4.3 speed and think he is a Stedman Bailey. This catch is very encouraging. He runs a nice pattern, an odd Out and Up (or a Bubble Screen and Wheel?;-). He catches the deep pass with contact. That is the money catch to me (3:20). That is a Wes Welker pattern. He doesn't get the ball, but that is what he will be doing as a rookie in the NFL (3:33). I like how he runs patterns in the Slot. He is still learning to catch the deep ball, and that is what he will need to improve for a while. 

This kid is so quick that he can turn any play into a Three Stooges routine (3:42;-). This kid so good at beating the defender before he gets to within 5-yards of him. He bounces outside, and the CB has him dead to rights. He so effortlessly slides outside again and gains the sideline. He gets another first down without being touched (3:55). He slips out of the backfield, and is corralled for what looks like a loss. However, his speed and quickness has embarrassed the defense so much, that they are tentative. The Safety allows him to turn and juke his jock off again for a first down (4:18). Whenever he is allowed to sprint to the sideline it is a win for the offense. He gets a crack and puts on the jets (4:30). This is when you really see his 4.3 speed. 

He is so quick and shifty with the ball in his hands. Watch how he protects the ball and still has that remarkable flash and dash (5:21). That was speed to the sideline (5:37).

I don't want him running the ball in the Redzone, But watch these two moves (5:55). Is there really anything I can say after this (6:02). The formula for his success is Tavon Austin times (make-you-miss-quickness)².

Okay, maybe there still is something to say. This is why I say he is the most dynamic guy in this Draft with the ball in his hands. OMG! That is (make-you-miss-quickness)² times 4.3 speed (6:12). Finally back in the Slot. Blocking nicely for his teammate (6:52). He has to be the quickest kid in this Draft. But what makes him truly special is that he can then turn on his 4.3 speed (7:01). This is just pure 4.3 speed when he team needs him the most. They are down two late in the 4th (7:07). Here he is again, down one later in the 4th, coming through when his team needs him most (7:17). He doesn't always play to his remarkable 4.3 speed. But late in the game when his team needed him the most he showed his jets.

 

Austin Vs Oklahoma:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH0FGpQZZnw

 

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