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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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DC, they said Bush is a luxury. Whatever that means.

no!

What he has is bust written all over him. Miami can't afford a bust with 12th pick.

If they dont re-sign Bush and Long they mine as well give up and just forfeit next season. Getting rid of their best players every year is idiotic. Especially with so much cap space.

I agree with not drafting players in the first round that didn't produce in college. I don't care if their natural skills are off the charts. If they couldn't beat future training camp fodder in college, they won't beat pro bowlers in the NFL.

go wit da bama cb @ 12. bpa.

I don't see Tavon on their board. I don't believe Austin is a guy Philbin would be for in any case at 12 or 25. Austin used the I word..."I'm the best player pound for pound". I don't see that appealing to what Philbins looking for in players.

Well, Tanny didnt produce in college....

Fin 77, they are not getting rid of either Bush or Long. What they're doing is offering them what they think they are worth. Long is no longer an elite left tackle. The Phins have several choices, tag him at $15 million a year, that would be stupid. Offer him what he wants, 10-12 million a year for 5 years a majority of which to be guaranteed, that's way too much for his present skill set. And finally to offer him what he's worth, 7-9 million a year for a shorter length contract. Bush will be 29 at the beginning of the year, he's not a one cut runner, and dances at the point of attack. Miller is a one cut runner with more speed, younger, and bigger. Bush can be your 3rd down back but at the right price.

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

But in the first? At No. 12?"

Mando,

Agreed. If we're going WR I'd take DeAndre Hopkins & Terrance Williams over him. I'd also take the TE Ertz over him.

Still wouldn't use the 12th overall pick for these guys. Sure the need is there BUT I believe when you don't go BPA & you waver from your board b/c of need--that's when mistakes are made. That's how you wind up taking Tedd Ginn.

Jay what do you mean he didn't produce in college 2011, 133 passer rating, 3744, 29 td's. Those look pretty good.

"I agree with not drafting players in the first round that didn't produce in college. I don't care if their natural skills are off the charts. If they couldn't beat future training camp fodder in college, they won't beat pro bowlers in the NFL."

Mark,

Agreed which is why my two favorite WR's & TE have produced. However I still see 12 being a stretch for Hopkins, Williams, & Ertz. Aside from injury--I don't see how any of these three players will not become good NFL players however if Lane Johnson or Jonathan Cooper are still on the board at 12 then I believe you have to take them.

because, promichael, the offense run at VaTech is simplistic. Oscar lifted this because every WR from VaTech comes with the same question mark.
=====================================================
I see Austin as a contingency if FA Wallace does not sign with the Dolphins. In the context of assuming that someone may not fit due to the school's simple offensive scheme; That should not be absolute as the talent and ability to learn should also be evaluated. Austin caught to many balls at V.Tech. to not have exceptional ability. In conjunction with his speed and quickness which is being demonstrated at the combine. The point is there is to much talent to just assume.

"Jay what do you mean he didn't produce in college 2011, 133 passer rating, 3744, 29 td's. Those look pretty good."

Mike,

He's a retard. What he fails to recognize is that Tannehill is MUCH better than every single QB prospect in this year's draft. And he was a better prospect than Gabbert, Locker, & Ponder the year before.

When Philbin gets the O-line solidified & we can consistently run the ball the people who are still questioning Tannehill are going to look foolish.

promichael, Wallace and Austin are completely different receivers. Wallace is a down field, big play receiver, Austin is a slot receiver, with all of his speed he only averaged 11.3/reception last year and 11.7 the prior year. The reason for that is that because of his size he couldn't get off the line of scrimmage in press coverage. If he couldn't do that in college, he's not going to do it in the NFL.

Mike, jay is a moron

WNP, my comment was directed toward that mysterious Ansah character from BYU. A guy from BYU with only 5.5 sacks in that conference??? GTFOH!!! That reeks of taking Koa Misi a few years back with similar #s. That dude tries hard but still can't get to the qb consistently.

TEs, I don't like Ertz. I prefer the 2nd tier guys a lot more - I think those guys have a lot more to offer than Ertz and Eiffert.

"I see Austin as a contingency if FA Wallace does not sign with the Dolphins. In the context of assuming that someone may not fit due to the school's simple offensive scheme; That should not be absolute as the talent and ability to learn should also be evaluated. Austin caught to many balls at V.Tech. to not have exceptional ability. In conjunction with his speed and quickness which is being demonstrated at the combine. The point is there is to much talent to just assume."

Promichael,

He's a slot receiver who doesn't have the body type to take NFL hits. Everyone thinks that guys like Wes Welker grow on trees. They don't. Guys like Welker & even Davone Bess for that matter are the exceptions not the rules. Just remember that for every Wes Welker there are a 100 Julian Edelman or Eddie Royal or Dexter McCluster types who either can't stay healthy or can't consistently produce year after year.

I can't say this enough. If you draft a WR he better know how to run routes. There's a reason why a guy like Hartline can play & Gates can't. Forget the speed. There's no question that I'd take Hopkins over this kid Austin or Patterson.

Really like Quinton Patton in the 2nd for one of the new Dolphins choir boys. He gave one of his bowl gifts- a $300.00 gift card to a kid from the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Great character, great catch.

I think the Dolphins should re-sign Hartline, draft Swope, and draft TE Kelcie and challenge NE for the whitest offense in the NFL. Throw Reggie Bush in there too (according to some people's opinion of the man anyway)

"WNP, my comment was directed toward that mysterious Ansah character from BYU. A guy from BYU with only 5.5 sacks in that conference??? GTFOH!!! That reeks of taking Koa Misi a few years back with similar #s. That dude tries hard but still can't get to the qb consistently.

TEs, I don't like Ertz. I prefer the 2nd tier guys a lot more - I think those guys have a lot more to offer than Ertz and Eiffert."

Mark,

Misi was nothing special his first two seasons BUT he had a VERY good season in 2012. Other than Jones no one on the defense improved more than him. Apparently people tend to overlook things as basic as tackling...

I believe if he stays healthy (& obviously that's an IF & the great unknown for every player) Ertz is going to be the next Jason Witten. I've seen him play several times & I believe he's going to be THAT good. I'm not nearly as high on Eifert as I am on Ertz.

The Dolphins really can not afford to miss on this years opportunities (draft and FA). Great receivers come in all sizes, shapes, schools, and NFL rounds. Santana Moss (Redskins) another smaller receiver was drafted in the 1st round out of Miami. However Steve Smith from the Carolina Panthers was drafted in the 3rd round out of Utah. Go figure? Bill Belichick had enough vision to acquire Wes Welker who was from Texas Tech a school not known for producing NFL players at the time. Sometimes a great offensive football school can make a player look better than his talent.

"I think the Dolphins should re-sign Hartline, draft Swope, and draft TE Kelcie and challenge NE for the whitest offense in the NFL. Throw Reggie Bush in there too (according to some people's opinion of the man anyway)"

Mark,

No wonder why Canada doesn't have an NFL team...And no I don't count the Bills b/c they're worse than we are. However I'd gladly take Spiller & Byrd.

I wonder who will embarrass YG today? He was thoroughly trounced and humiliated yesterday by someone.

If we lose out on a fa wr then we may be looking at wr in the 1st rd.

Austin could very well move up the boards, we'll see. Then the question will be prototypical or polished?

Patterson, Allen, or Austin. There are also some big recievers as some have mentioned available in rds 2 and 3. Great year to need recievers.

Austin does look very exciting to me and I wouldn't be so quick to label him as bust matierial. He's been very productive at every level so far.

As it stands it looks like the rich will get richer at the bottom of the first rd.

"The Dolphins really can not afford to miss on this years opportunities (draft and FA). Great receivers come in all sizes, shapes, schools, and NFL rounds. Santana Moss (Redskins) another smaller receiver was drafted in the 1st round out of Miami. However Steve Smith from the Carolina Panthers was drafted in the 3rd round out of Utah. Go figure? Bill Belichick had enough vision to acquire Wes Welker who was from Texas Tech a school not known for producing NFL players at the time. Sometimes a great offensive football school can make a player look better than his talent."

Promichael,

If you're looking for football players & not track stars then you need to look at both Hopkins & Williams.

BTW--I don't believe we're going to get Wallace, Jennings, or Bowe.

Hey WNP, it works well for NE ... no??? Other than Lloyd and whichever RB is one the field, nobody else is of "African American" descent. And Aaron is neither ...

Not a frail receiver; plays tough, has some upper-body thickness, and bounces up quickly from hits.
This is NFL analysis. I been saying it this kid is a 1st round talent 12 is a little high but would consider it. I highly doubt he will be in the second, him and Wallace/Jennings on the same team... What I love most about him is he is a football player not just a track runner guy. I understand where you are coming from but don't get hung up on size "motion of the ocean my brother"

And WNP, it won't be long before Toronto has an NFL team. It's the 5th biggest market between Canada and the USA and Rogers Communications would be the most likely owner (sponsor of the Bills in Toronto series). On the other hand, the NFL has never really cared about market size ... hence no team in LA.

Mando,

Dashi has been Saying For A While! The Only Way Ireland Drafts A Wr!! In The 1st! Is If The Guy Is 6'3" 205+ And Runs A 4.3!! And Patterson Did That!!

T.Austin Seems Less Of A Choice Than R.Swope! Like You Said! Size and Speed! If The Fins can Walk Away In This Draft! With C.Patterson, R.Swope, and R.Woods! It Would Be A Great Draft! Just With The First 2! Dashi Will Be Happy!

The Best and Deepest Position In This Draft So Far Does Seem to be WR!

pomapano, YG does a good job of embarassing himself here on a daily basis. He's a fool...

"As it stands it looks like the rich will get richer at the bottom of the first rd."

All the more reason why Ireland might have to trade some picks to get back into the first or the top of the 2nd. If he has a chance to trade with a team to get Hopkins, Williams, or Ertz he HAS to pull the trigger.

Several teams with cap space will be chasing Wallace in FA & at the end of the day I just don't see us getting him.

Dashi, got to agree with you ... Patterson does look like the guy if it's going to be WR....

NFL Comparison:
Randall Cobb

Thought we where going to bring GB offense to Miami. I really like the kid (before his 40 time). Would trade down if nothing falls to us and take him in the 20's

Promichael,

He's a slot receiver who doesn't have the body type to take NFL hits. Everyone thinks that guys like Wes Welker grow on trees.
======================================================
The Dolphins need playmakers who are receivers. If it's just picking up the first down as Welker does from the slot or going deeper for the big play. The Dolphins need two receivers to add to what they now have. If the Dolphins get Wallace they will still need to go after an Austin type of receiver. A very quick slot guy, having the "40" speed that Austin has makes him even more valuable because he can also run a deeper route.

And WNP, it won't be long before Toronto has an NFL team. It's the 5th biggest market between Canada and the USA and Rogers Communications would be the most likely owner (sponsor of the Bills in Toronto series). On the other hand, the NFL has never really cared about market size ... hence no team in LA.

Mark,

I don't know....Goodell keeps pushing this London thing. Personally I don't get it. No one wants to play there.

"The Dolphins need playmakers who are receivers. If it's just picking up the first down as Welker does from the slot or going deeper for the big play. The Dolphins need two receivers to add to what they now have. If the Dolphins get Wallace they will still need to go after an Austin type of receiver. A very quick slot guy, having the "40" speed that Austin has makes him even more valuable because he can also run a deeper route."

Promichael,

I'm telling you--Wallace is a pipe dream. Not going to happen. Whether you're right or wrong on Austin, at the end of the day. Ireland is not going to deviate from his size requirements to take Austin in the first round so you're beating a dead horse.

billcale,

My bet is we go after Patton in the 2nd. These guys who are talking all these other guys don't read or follow the thought-process of the team.

1 - Philbin goes after WRs in the 2nd round
2 - Team wants guy who runs the ENTIRE route tree
3 - YAC
4 - Solid character guy

People need to stop figuring out who THEY would want, and try to ascertain who the COACHES and GMs will pick.

That means 1st round will be a CB or pass rusher (maybe an olineman knowing the history of the team). I'll wait until after the draft to give my 2 cents if we had a successful FA/Draft on 1st blush.

"NFL Comparison:
Randall Cobb

Thought we where going to bring GB offense to Miami. I really like the kid (before his 40 time). Would trade down if nothing falls to us and take him in the 20's"

O'Darris,

He's also two inches smaller & 20 pounds lighter than Cobb. How many seasons do you think this kid is going to last after a 215 pound Safety lights him up???

John Cyprien
FS Florida International

Grade
84.65

70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd Grade


A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.

Kid will not be there in the 3rd

WNP, the London thing is just bizarre. Travel out 8 hours. To me the most logical international markets would be Toronto, Vancouver, and Mexico City in no particular order. Logistically and financially, they make a tonne of sense. Mexico City would have a lot of pitfalls for a young dude with money though .,..

DC,

You like Patton over Hopkins or Williams??? Hopkins is probably the best route runner in this draft class & Williams production is like a video game.

"WNP, the London thing is just bizarre. Travel out 8 hours. To me the most logical international markets would be Toronto, Vancouver, and Mexico City in no particular order. Logistically and financially, they make a tonne of sense. Mexico City would have a lot of pitfalls for a young dude with money though .,.."

Mark,

Pitfalls for a young dude with money??? You can say that about any major city in America as well. If the kid's head isn't on straight he's going to find trouble.

Best Route Runner/Wr This Draft! R.Woods!

I Say The Fins Should Pick Swope Over Austin! But Really Both Aren't That Good! Both Have Very Suspect Hands! And Aren't Great Route Runners! We Can Let It Slide With CP, Because The Guy Is Big, Strong, and Fast! And Catches With His Hands!! But Not The Other 2!

R.Woods Is The Most Complete Wr! That Played With The Worst College Qb!!

One simple question--how many WR's in the NFL are 5'8" & weigh 173 pounds??? Exactly. Next...

Busy weekend in the NFL....

I like Austin a lot but not at 12. Second round yes. But we still need that big receiver who'll go up and get the ball. We don't have that right now. Is that Jennings or Wallace? Maybe. But it's not Austin.

DC, the 'Phins didn't cut Bush but there's 'speculation' that they will move on without him. 'Specualtion' being the key word. Could change going forward....I think a lot of this stuff is fluid right now.

So Dion Jordan is going to be out 3-4 months recovering from shoulder surgery. What does this do to his draft stock? Does he drop to late first? Is this a guy we should think about trading up to get in the first? Maybe.

Mark, really surprised you're not a fan of Eiffert or Ertz. A lot of people think the ND kid is the best TE to come out in a long time. I'm not sure on him yet. I think no question upgrades what we have but I think this is a deep draft for TEs. There are guys we could get in the third and fourth that I think will be good NFL players.

WNP, I don't like ANYONE over ANYONE. That's not my angle. I don't play the "draft this guy or that guy" game this time of year for many reasons:

1 - I don't watch enough college football
2 - I don't hear the interview process
3 - Most on here who try to grade players are usually wrong

What I try to do is read between the lines of what the GM/Coaches say, and read what's written by the DOLPHINS (not national) reporters who actually talk to the decision-makers. And what I'm hearing is a strong affection for a player like Patton.

But WNP, as your name implies, I'll be happy with ANY guy who comes in here and makes plays, and I will blame the decision-makers for any guy they drafted for that purpose that doesn't work out.

So the 2 guys you mentioned (little I saw of them) sound good. I'm just wondering if they have all the other qualities the team is on record for looking for (the character, etc.)?


Promichael,

I'm telling you--Wallace is a pipe dream. Not going to happen. Whether you're right or wrong on Austin, at the end of the day. Ireland is not going to deviate from his size requirements to take Austin in the first round so you're beating a dead horse.

Posted by: We Need Playmakers
======================================================
I'm in agreement with you on Wallace being a long shot. Ireland mentored by Parcells will stay with his prototype receiver is also true. The Dolphins do need to get two receivers with speed. A number one and two if you will. There are enough available prototype receivers who have speed in this draft.

Best Route Runner/Wr This Draft! R.Woods!

I Say The Fins Should Pick Swope Over Austin! But "Really Both Aren't That Good! Both Have Very Suspect Hands! And Aren't Great Route Runners! We Can Let It Slide With CP, Because The Guy Is Big, Strong, and Fast! And Catches With His Hands!! But Not The Other 2!

R.Woods Is The Most Complete Wr! That Played With The Worst College Qb!!"

Dashi,

I don't dislike Woods, I just prefer Hopkins. Woods will definitely be more in the conversation than Austin.

WNP, what you say is valid but most American cities do not have drug cartels that are more powerful than the actual country's military ... this is an added element I'm sure the NFl would want to steer clear of ...

Craig, that's what I think (they move on without Bush), which is good news for Hartline, because I read they would only bring 1 back.

"I'm in agreement with you on Wallace being a long shot. Ireland mentored by Parcells will stay with his prototype receiver is also true. The Dolphins do need to get two receivers with speed. A number one and two if you will. There are enough available prototype receivers who have speed in this draft."

Promichael,

Absolutely. Need to get a CB in FA not named Smith & somehow, someway Ireland HAS to find a TE.

Interesting as well to read the speculation out of GB.

The talk on the weekend is that they are thinking of tagging Jennings. This would be a BIG blow for our plans at WR but I just can't see it happening. Do they really need Jennings? Do they really need to be spending close to $11 mil on this guy? Maybe...if it's only for one year and they are set to take anothe real shot at the SuperBowl. Surprised to hear this talk but who knows.

Also sounds like they are still on the fence about Finley. Due to hit for $8.75 mil on the cap this year. Do they get him to restructure or cut him loose. A couple of decisions that could have a big impact on what we do this offseason in FA and the draft.

Craig, I think Ertz and Eiffert will be fine pros and be more like Anthony Fasano than Aaron hernandez. They will be guys that can play three downs and know their assignments and block and catch with equal efficiency. However, I don't want that in the next TE. I would take a C+ blocker A receiver type. I don't think Eiffert or Ertz are that type. But Kelcie, Reed, Escobar ... those guys are more my style.

We Need Playmakers | February 25, 2013 at 09:58 AM

He is small but the means he will get injured? Look what TY Hilton did with the Colts last year and don't see the same YAC ability in TY. It is a coach job to put players in situations to be successful.I think the kid can be very good not a number 1 but I don't see a true number one in this draft. Plus the kid doesn't have a history of injuries that scares me.

DC,

I still believe Hartline will be out 'fallback', which might really tick him off and cause him to go elsewhere. There's a 3 day window where teams can talk to other teams FAs before March 12th. I have a feeling if Ireland gets a lukewarm back from guys like Jennings and Wallace he'll sign Hartline to deal before March 12th. I don't think he can take the risk of getting none of these guys in FA and then having to scramble to find 'something' in FA and then guys in the draft.

Hiring Wallace in FA and then drafting Patterson in the first round would be redundant in my opinion. They are both speedy one-trick ponies right now. None of them is a decent route runner.

If we manage to get Wallace I would go for Keenan Allen in the first round (after a trade-down). However I would draft Patterson at #12 in a heartbeat if we sign Jennings instead of Wallace.

Jennings + Patterson looks far more interesting than Wallace + Patterson.

Ok, maybe they won't be Anthony Fasano .. but the one guy Ertz gets compared to a whole lot is heath Miller - who is an outstanding TE - but he never challenges the seam. All his catches are within 10 yards of the LOS.

You don't BUILD an offense by getting rid of your best play maker 2 years in a row....

Marshall

Bush

You ADD to play makers....not trade them...or let them walk....

The FINS have the 8th TOUGHEST schedule next year...no cake walk like last season...if we lose the abiity to score...or even threaten to score....this could be an ugly season...

bottom line....get Bush signed....and the ADD MORE play makers t this roster....

Mark,

We disagree on Ertz and Eiffert. I see them both being a lot better than either Fasano or Hernandez. I'd take a shot on either of them in the second if they were still there. I just athletically they are better than Fasano for sure.

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