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NFL Draft 2013 – Wide Receiver Prospect Tavon Austin – West Virginia

February 11th, 2013 at 9:50 PM
By Mark Mihalko

As the days continue to fly by here in February, it is becoming clear that wide receiver Mike Wallace has indeed played his last down for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The latest rumors have division rivals Cleveland or Cincinnati battling over his services. Both franchises have a tremendous amount of salary cap space and could use his services. Especially the Cleveland Browns, who have a new owner and desperately need a number one wide receiver.

'DSC_0003' photo (c) 2008, mr_t_77 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Even without Wallace, the Steelers have a solid corps of receivers in Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jerricho Cotchery in the fold, the definitely lack quality depth and could use some more talent at the position. With that in mind, even with the other holes that may develop from the upcoming roster purge, wide receiver will be a pressing need in April.

Continuing with our NFL Draft profiles, we will break down one of the top rated wide receivers in this class, West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin. Of all of the wide receivers in this draft, Austin will be one of the most challenging to place. If he were bigger, or at least closer to the prototypical size, he would clearly be the first receiver off the board.

 

After breaking down the tape, they will see a wide out with a unique blend of athleticism, explosiveness and return ability. Looking for a comparison, he would be a combination of DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles) and Wes Welker (New England Patriots). Although Austin is only 5-9 and 175 pounds; he is one of the most gifted athletes in the class and could be a perfect for a team looking for an explosive slot receiver.

In fact, his diminutive size is all that will keep him down some draft boards; if he were bigger, he would be the top rated wide out on the board. Blessed with rare athleticism and toughness, Austin has elite acceleration and the ability to take the top off the defense. Named the 2012 Paul Hornung Award Winner as the most versatile player in major college football, Austin was a nightmare for opposing teams, finishing with 114 receptions for 1289 receiving yards, 643 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns on offense, while chipping in another 978 yards on returns with two more touchdowns.

At this point, it appears that Austin could come off the board anywhere in the second half of round one. He would be a solid fit for the Steelers with their selection at number 17, or later if they trade down.

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Tags: Antonio Brown, Cleveland Browns, DeSean Jackson, Emmanuel Sanders, Football, Jerricho Cotchery, Mike Wallace, NFL, NFL Draft, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tavon Austin, Wes Welker

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