Tavon Austin: NFL Draft Preview

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Published: April 7, 2013

Tavon Austin Fantasy Football Tavon Austin fantasy football

Tavon Austin is no stranger to success. Austin was a two time Maryland high school player of the year and broke rushing records in touchdowns in a season (34) and yards in a season (2660) while averaging an insane 12.2 yards per carry. Austin finished his senior season at West Virginia with several accolades as well including: Paul Hornung award (NCAA most versatile player), 1st team All American, and he finished 8th in the Heisman vote. Austin’s most impressive game as a senior had him finishing with a staggering 572 all purpose yards (2nd most in FBS history) where he rushed for 344 yards on 21 carries, caught four passes for 82 yards, and had 146 kick return yards. The most amazing stat of all is the size of Tavon Austin, he stands at 5’8″ and weighs 175 lbs. He was referred to by Mike Mayock, NFL Networks draft analyst, as “The Pocket Rocket”. That is the type of nickname that will get you some flack in the NFL locker room, unless you let your play do the talking. Still, Tavon Austin is high on our NFL Draft 2013 Prospects List.

Strengths

Austin’s primary strength is his versatility. His ability to be utilized in a variety of ways will give Austin ample opportunities to get touches. Tavon Austin possesses elite speed (4.34 forty yard dash) and elite quickness. He has quick feet and the ability to move very quick in tight spaces. Austin possesses the size of a typical slot receiver in the NFL. He plays very tough and is a durable athlete (did not miss a game at West Virginia). He has excellent vision on kick return and when rushing or receiving out of the backfield. He has a knack for finding open spaces in the zone and is a YAC specialist. His agility, speed, and quickness is unmatched by all other players in this years class.

Weakness

The biggest weakness that most draft experts would bring up is Austin’s size. He lacks elite size for a NFL player and it brings on durability concerns and how well Austin’s body will respond to the punishment of the NFL. Has limited use playing on the outside due to his lack of size. May not have to size to run block effectively against stronger NFL cornerbacks. Austin has average hands but still needs to work to keep thrown balls away from his body. Playing the slot in the NFL will require him to react quickly to zipped passes.

Fantasy Impact

Tavon Austin should have an immediate fantasy impact. His ability to be used at several positions will make him a very desirable player and whatever team drafts him will want to utilize his play-making ability as much as possible. He is a threat to score any time he touches the ball. With his versatility, vision, and elite speed and quickness, I would compare him to Desean Jackson. He can play slot wide receiver, running back, and return specialist. With all those opportunities the fantasy points could come in bundles.

Tavon Austin will be a first round draft pick and could be taken as early as number 12 to the Dolphins. With the Dolphins adding Mike Wallace in free agency and shoring up their defense they could potentially take a multifaceted playmaker in Tavon Austin. The lowest I see Austin going is #16 to the St. Louis Rams. The Rams lost Danny Amendola to free agency and Austin would be a wonderful replacement to complement Chris Givens and Brian Quick.

 

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