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Tavon Austin a combine star but not a fit at No. 12

Me and some of my followers on twitter [Yeah, terrible grammar] got into a bit of a spat Sunday afternoon because I believe NFL teams are best served drafting football players and they apparently are enthralled with the idea of drafting 40-yard dash times.

And so we have a minor disagreement on Tavon Austin, the West Virginia speedster.

Austin is a sprite. He ran a 4.34 official time at the combine Sunday and, I admit, he was a fine playmaker at West Virginia last year.

Austin also came to the combine with his confidence at full throat as he told the media in a press conference "“Pound for pound I am the best all-around player in the NFL Draft."

Well, I don't see the best pound for pound player in the draft as a value as a Top 10 pick, as some fans are suggesting and not even a No. 12 pick where the Dolphins will select in the first round of next April's draft.

Yes, Austin has the stats. (I love guys with the production). Yes, he has the speed. (I love speed). But he's tiny at 5-9 and 178 pounds. (I don't love guys that size at No. 12).

Yes, I would love Austin on my team. Yes, I would take him in the second round.

But in the first? At No. 12?

No thanks.

I don't take guys shorter than some girls I once dated at No. 12. 

Again, I really love Austin as a player but I simply don't see the value in him that high.

Why?

Well, when you measure a player's critical factors one thing you must measure is durability. And I'm not sure a player that smallish who will be asked to go into the teeth of a defense as a slot player will be durable enough to answer the call every Sunday.

And you hence must add that worry to the usual ones about whether he can adjust to your system, and whether he's got the instincts, and can deal with the speed of the game and can handle his business off the field.

Again, that doesn't mean I don't respect Austin's talents. He can be electric on the field. What he did to Oklahoma last year was jaw-dropping.

But there have been other grand talents come into the NFL in small packages and struggle because of their size -- Bob Sanders comes to mind. He was amazing for a couple of years and then the fact he was crashing into men who were bigger and outweighed him by 40 to 100 pounds caught up with him.

You have to find a great balance with talents such as Austin's to make a thoughtful decision on where he should be drafted. Maybe he's going to be a fine player like Darren Sproles. Well, Sproles was drafted in the fourth round.

Maybe he's going to a "matchup nightmare," as NFL Network's Mike Mayock said, playing the slot receiver position. Maybe he's going to be like Wes Welker. Well, Welker went undrafted.

Maybe he'll play forever like another smallish but freakishly fast player -- cornerback Darrell Green -- did for the Washington Redskins years ago. Well, maybe, but Green was drafted at the bottom of the first round, not near the top.

Do you see the point?

If the Dolphins fall in love with Austin I would expect them to show that love after a major trade-down from No. 12. Or maybe with a second round pick.

But even this comes with a warning:

Miami GM Jeff Ireland comes from the general manager school of prototypical players. He was taught by his mentor Bill Parcells to pick prototype players that have the height, weight and look the part of bigtime NFL players. That school of thought leaves little room for dumplings like Austin.

For Ireland to consider Austin in any round would be a departure from what he's been taught.

And even if the Miami GM can loose himself from the bonds of his mentor, in my humble opinion, for Ireland to consider Austin at No. 12 would be a mistake.

 

Comments

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Armando,

Still to tough to call who'll be our #12 pick or if we seek to trade down or up. Or if we'll even selct a wr at all in the 1st rd.

IMO, it greatly depends if we get Wallace or Jennings in fa. I believe Wallace would rule out the need to get Tavon. We sign Wallace and I can kind of see targeting Patterson to pair with him.

I believe Patterson is the only wr we would target taking 1st rd. Everybody else is 2nd rd. Cant even rule out taking Ryan Swope with one of the 2nd rd picks. After a 4.35 forty, I think Swope moves at least into mid 2nd rd.

trade back,

trade back

1: (Late)Ertz, or Eifert (TE)
2: T. Austin, or D Hopkins, or R. Woods (WR)
2: Gio Brenard or M. Ball (RB)
2: E. Rhodes, or J. Banks (CB)
3: J. Cyprien, or E. Reid (safety)
3: Steal of the draft!!! Honey Badger!! He can play CB or Safety if we dont take one above

I have frequently said we should draft this guy or that, but I would really hate to have Ireland's responsibility right now.

Austin is certainly a possibility at 12.

Is Brandon Graham in this draft Mando? LOL.

If we dont trade back I say get C. Warmack(G), or Ogletree(LB) with 1st rounder. Best immediate impact players that's not a LT, or injured in the draft

I also like the thought of (RB) M. Lattimore in the 5th or 6th round. If not for knee surgery he is 1st or 2nd round talent for a steal at 5 or 6

If QB E.J Manuel fall to the 4th, we can look at him as our version of the seahawks safety investment in Russel Wilson....Just in case Tanny wiffs. nothing wrong with flood insurance

how can we trade back if there are no stars at the top of the draft.
Too much emphasis is based on value. if you like a guy draft him when you have the chance. why risk losing him.

There is always some idiot GM who thinks they are so smart for moving up in the draft. What about the Chargers moving up to get R. Mathews? Or the Jets Moving up to get Sanchez(this alone shall prove my point)? Or even the dolphins moving up in the 2nd to get D. Thomas(this shall also prove my point)?

Not to mention there are alot of teams looking at these top LT's. If Miami dont re-sign Jake Long, other teams might look at us as a threat to pick one even though we may not want one. same thing would happen if Milliner was to fall in front of us due to his impending surgery. plenty of teams including the Buccaneers right behind us at 13 are in need of a top corner and might see us as an obsticle in which they need to get in front of.

My offseason wish list.
FA: Mike Wallace, M Bennett
Round 1: Best de or cb
Round 2: D. Hopkins
Round 2: R. Swope
Let Hartline go and get cheaper and faster with Swope plus he's familiar with the offense and Thill

Austin at 12? Nah, he is just too small for the pro game later in the draft perhaps...but you need size to play in Dec and Jan. There are too many intiging options on the table to talk about him at 12. Will he be a big enough impact at 12 to win 5 more games? Like I said; nah don't think so...like one says in dominos...PASS!!!

Ireland better have a receiver before the draft. He has to get one either through trade or free agency. No one seems to be exploring trade options publically. That might be the best way for the Dolphins to use their draft pick ammo. Make someone an offer they can't refuse.

How about this years 1st, a 2nd this year, and next years 1st for Calvin Johnson. The Dolphins just don't hit home runs with their first round picks. You telling me you wouldn't trade Vontae Davis, Jared Odrick, and Pat White for Calvin Johnson?

Maybe Ireland can may move back in the draft but that's never a certainty. And I don't place a lot of trust in these supposed values of players in the first round. That's how you lose players in the draft by getting cute. If the team wants the guy draft him. Whether it's at 12 or 20.

Armando,

You make a mistake in making the comparison to Darren Sproles. Austin is a receiver not just a kick return/running back. Austin had the stats in college as you admitted. You do not make sense when writing about girls taller than Austin. There are many girls taller than Wes Welker. How can people not realize that this guy could be better than Welker because he has "40" speed and quickness to get open and separate. Welker's success comes from being fast enough. In addition and more important he is quicker at 30 years old than most NFL receivers. The ability to accelerate quickly relates to separation from a defender. This is what allows Welker to be so good. He also has good hands. Austin like Welker is not the prototype NFL receiver. However he would move the chains as Welker does. Welker caught 67 balls the last year he was with the Dolphins with a backup QB named Joey Harrington. Belichick had the vision to figure it out. The fact that Austin can go deep better than Welker and get open (separate) on shorter routes makes him so dangerous with the current NFL rules.

Dolphins do OK in the first round.
Pouncy already best centre in football
Vontae proved he was 1st round quality - just his attitude let him down
Long was best LT in football 3 years in a row. Ireland cant be blamed for his injuries.
Odrick is decent. just in the wrong scheme.


Swope Swope Swope!! in the second round. I want that guy. He fits with this offense, this OC and the QB. Doesn't hurt when you run a 4.34 either. Guess that profile that says he has avg. speed was wrong. He put up some of his best numbers this year against the best teams in college. That's what I like to see from players to determine how pro ready they are...do they produce against the best teams.

If we go on the assumption that we need a Game Changer, the guy that can give us 6 or 3 in a quick hurry AND NFL ready, there are few in this Draft. Tavon has great talent but, from the beginning, they are going to shade him, confuse him, By his patterns yesterday, I can tell he does not have the savvy now to play competitively from the slot in the NFL. Who else at #12 that is as MM likes to call them a Difference Maker? I don't know yet.

Yesterday's Gone 4ever! says;

IMO, it greatly depends if we get Wallace or Jennings in fa. I believe Wallace would rule out the need to get Tavon. We sign Wallace and I can kind of see targeting Patterson to pair with him.
=====================================================
I agree with the above. However getting Wallace is not a forgone conclusion because the Dolphins will be in a bidding war. Who knows what will happen. The teams willing to pay Wallace huge money may not have the cap room. Those who have the cap room may not have the dire need for a WR. The contingency for not getting Wallace could be Tavon Austin.

You could always place Tavon on the outside(Big headache), to run some underneath, but he won't last long from there.

I agree there is no guarantee of signing Wallace. This tends be a second thought rather then the reality. I also see no connection that if you get Wallace you don't go after Austin. They would have completely different roles.

If you don't get Wallace you would want to get someone with speed like a Patterson to give you a deep threat wideout to spread the field for that element. Austin is more of a short threat that can take it to the house at wideout/rb.

We can understand the excitement of Some(One) when seeing these fast and exciting WR College performers Unfortunately, more often than not they don't work out in Professional Life.

-Mando, your supposed to be an informed journalist...

Please--grammar, grammar, grammar-- "Some of my followers and I on Twitter..."

OK--I agree feeling he's not worth a top 1st round (12) pick and I see hint Jennings may get tag, so cost of FA/trade for the type WR we need is going up?

No one has to panick execute the plan that's all

Every wide receiver in this year's draft has a wort or two. There is not a Calvin Johnson in this draft. Interested to see what Keenan Allen runs on is pro day bc his injury prevented him from competing at the combiine. Great to see all that speed on display yesterday and Im fairly certain by the second pick we have in the second round, we wil have added a wr with 4.3-4.4 speed since there are so many to choose from. Im hoping its Ryan Swope. Based on his performance yesterday and familiarity with the offense, this to me seems like a no brainer with one of the second round picks. This of course, is contingent on obtaining Wallace or Jennings in FA.

If you notice Ireland's pattern in the last 2 Drafts, he was extremely conservative with his top pick. Anybody here could have picked Pouncey, RT. This year, it's a different Game. He's being asked to deliver a Player that can instantly give Us 3-6 points/Game, if such is there to take. Different Stuff.

We will get who we get can't change fate but money talks and bull shyt walks

If that's the case if we whiff in free agency it has to be keenan Allen

I'd call the Packers bluff. I'd never give him a big contract and give up draft picks. Now is the time you're going to see all kinds of BS flying. I don't see them franchising the guy and keeping him. And if they did there's nothing we can do to stop it. The Phins must plan for all possibilities including the uncomfortable thought of not getting Wallace or Jennings.

I wouldn't call T-hill a conservative pick. That one even went against Irelands principles.

I tend to mistrust White boys at WR. Only great ones I recall were LA, old Fred and Steve Largent.

Nahhh, everybody that knows Football and had watched RT in College , knew he is a can't miss.

We have many many options we have to be able to shift gears on the fly

In my previous post, I forgot to mention Robert Woods and he did not disappoint in his combine showing. Fingers crossed but If by some miracle chance the Dolphins two second round picks go Robert Woods and Ryan Swope, I would be in heaven. The first round pick Im hoping will be Millner from Alabama. Sean Smith will be overpaid by some other team and needs to be replaced. Starks will be franchised. This would be my dream scenario for the dolphins first three picks.

As long as we're dreaming, I like the possibilities that go with trading the #12 pick for a late 1st and early 2nd. Think OT Lane Johnson here as the #1 and CB Johnthan Banks as the early #2 for the trade down. The original two #2 picks could be between WRs Quinton Patton, Robert Woods or Justin Hunter. This way, Jake Long and Sean Smith, possibly the 2 highest salary cap FAs are replaced and 2 new 2nd round rookie WRs are added.

The mandatory FA pickups before the draft would include both a new TE (Martellus Bennett) and CB (Keenan Lewis). Also included would be resigning Starks, Hartline and Clemmons. There would be money remaining for a modest-salaried Reggie Bush and numerous acorns which will fall after the draft.

What are those options you say We have, Marc?(Nothing personal, trying to keep the discussion alive before we fall into those endless repetitions, Uff)

I remember taking a small, fast receiver high in the first round one time. He had a great family, which really made it an easy decision. He didn't really work out very well though. What was his name again...hmmm....

It is not next Aprils draft. It would be this Aprils draft.

Trade down get 3 WR's 1.st-K.Allen-2.nd-Q.Patton-T.Austin now you're talking get J.Cryphien in the 3.rd with a TE Wow !!

Oscar Canosa says;

Tavon has great talent but, from the beginning, they are going to shade him, confuse him, By his patterns yesterday, I can tell he does not have the savvy now to play competitively from the slot in the NFL.
======================================================
How do you know this? Wes Welker, Steve Smith and Santana Moss have had enough success in the NFL for fans like yourself to stop the assumptions just because he's not the prototype receiver.

Surprised with Ryan Swope's time. Wow. he plays a real tough game too. Kid looks to be a good pro. I'd think we should get used to him in Miami given the natural ties.

because, promichael, the offense run at VaTech is simplistic. Oscar lifted this because every WR from VaTech comes with the same question mark.

Oscar you can tell by his patters that he's not savvy enough. Training camp allows a player to fit into the context of a team. Your early judgement is based on your assumptions.

Miami GM Jeff Ireland comes from the general manager school of prototypical players. He was taught by his mentor Bill Parcells to pick prototype players that have the height, weight and look the part of bigtime NFL players. That school of thought leaves little room for dumplings like Austin.

----------

Pat White? Biggest 2nd round bust since Beck and Merling and.....

We all know he's going to fail with one of those 2 2nd rounders. Either use them to trade or use one for a screw up and hopefully one for a successful pick. At this point, 50% odds are better than 0.

because, promichael, the offense run at VaTech is simplistic. Oscar lifted this because every WR from VaTech comes with the same question mark.
Posted by: Mark in Toronto | February 25, 2013 at 08:14 AM

Just like Egnew and Maryland? I believe or any USC offensive player. It would be best to avoid question mark schools. We found that our with USC and Maryland and have hopefully learned that we can't waste future picks on question mark schools regardless of potential talent. (Unless that talent is obvious)

I say we take an unknown prospect at 12 "Leon Sandcastle".

I am still hoping for one the 5 listed below.
Patterson WR
Allen WR
Ansah DE - liking him more and more.
Mingo OLB
Jordan OLB

I am starting to feel like the actual pick may be between the list below.
Lane Johnson OT
Vaccaro S
Allen WR

If we were to take Austin at 12 I would be fine with that but would hope he's smart enough to play with a long career in mind. He's a TD threat any time he touches the ball.

It was not assumption, promichael, I saw his patterns.

The combine is way overrated. If scouts ignored the combine they'd draft much better. I've seen way too many great combine performances not transfer to the field and vice versa. The adrenalin of real games is what should matter way more then combine results.

Always thought that, no matter, Pat White fell into wrong hands.

The damage done by Tony Sparano to this Team and by Bill Parcells for choosing him has been immense.

Ireland cant pick his nose so lets just wait until he is fired.

Me and some of my followers? Has grammar gone down the tubes in this blog generation? Armando, you get paid to write, so please do it like a pro.

Did anyone hear we cut Bush? I walk in to work and its the first thing my boss tells me, but I haven't heard (or read) anything on it.

jamaicanhero, really the Honey Badger is the steal of the draft, and e can play safety at 5'8" 175 really. On what planet.

They cant cut Bush. He has no contract.

Texas_Dolfan, did you know that Ansah only had 5 1/2 sacks his senior year.

Jay, did they cut ties (like saying he's not in the plans to re-sign)? Last I heard they wanted him back "at the right price."

Give me an all SEC draft with a lot of Crimson Tide and Aggies players. I agree with Vegas Mike. The combine is way overrated for determining success in the NFL. I like to see stats for supposed playmakers AND see it on the field against the best teams.

I'VE STATED SOME BLOGS AGO THAT MIAMI SHOULD DRAFT TX A&M WR #25 SWOPES. WHY? HE KNOWS THE TERMINOLOGY OF MIA OFF. COOR. MIKE SHERMAN'S OFFENSE. GO AHEAD AND SIGN FREE AGENTS WR JENNINGS AND HARTLINE PLAY WITH BESS AND SWOPES. EVEN SIGN TE FINLEY WHEN HE BECOMES AVAILABLE. GATORS TE REED SHOULD BE AVAILABLE.

endless drivel now, good luck...

Mike - I knew he didn't put up big numbers but I am looking at his ability. The kid is RAW no doubt but he can play and play well.

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