NFL Draft Evaluation: Tavon Austin
Tavon Austin is the kick returner, punt returner, and wide receiver at WVU. In 2011 he led the nation in all purpose-yards and was a headache for any defensive coordinator WVU went up against. Tavon is pint sized, standing just 5'8" but he is one of the quickest prospects I have evaluated. He uses his speed to not only make defenders miss but to avoid taking the big hits as well. When he gets the ball he is a threat to score on every play and that's what makes him dangerous. He can stop on a dime and go back to 60 miles per hour at any point. In space there are not many defenders that can go one on one with this guy. His route running is smooth and he is very explosive out of his breaks. He basically defines the slot receiver for modern day NFL offenses and will be used as such. Now there is a lot to like about his game but there are a few downfalls that I have recorded upon evaluation. First, I have noticed that when the play is not designated to go his way he would lighten up on his routes. He isn't being lazy but he just isn't going to the best of his abilities. Second, when the deep ball gets thrown his way he has to do a better job of timing his jumps to pluck the ball out of the air. He isn't big, so he has to use all of his athletic ability and focus to make sure he times his jumps just right so he doesn't get beat. Finally, for the NFL his size will probably hold him out of the first round. Mainly because it will cause some concerns for teams about how well he could hold up for a full 16 games over the course of a season. Overall we have a very talented receiver that will use his speed, return ability, and playmaking to make it in the NFL and while he still has a lot to work on he could very well be a pro bowler at some point in his career.