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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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Mark, interesting you compared him to Miller. I was talking to a Steelers fan the other day about possibility of us getting Wallace. While he said Wallace wasn't worth the money, he DID say the guy Wallace REALLY helped was...Heath Miller.

So, if we get Wallace, then that plays well to the thought of getting a "Miller"-type TE.

Kris,

I've read your comments on Bush. You're a Philbin guy. Are you really trying to say that Philbin didn't have a hand in getting rid of Marshall last year? REALLY? Was it a coincidence that shortly after the was hired Marshall was gone?

I think it's the same with Bush. I think if he REALLY wanted Bush back he would be back. I don't think he does. Hence the stance the team has taken. I don't see Bush as a guy that Philbin really needs to make this offence work. That's what I'm seeing going on.

"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."

O'darris,

It's a man's game in the NFL & even though Hilton had a great year UNLESS he gets bigger & stronger his body won't hold up to the pounding.

There's a reason why you don't see many WR's who are 5'8" & 173 pounds having very long careers. Where will Austin be in three or four years???

BTW--It doesn't make a difference b/c Ireland would NEVER draft this kid.

Trade up for dEE!!!

Craig, go back and watch Fasano at ND. He looked like a world beater out there too. And no way either Ertz or Eiffert are better athletically than Hernandez ... no way.

DC, we already have the poor man's heath Miller in Anthony Fasano.

One of the guys I think is going to be a really good pro in this draft is Shariff Floyd. Not sure he fits here with what we are trying to do but I think when we look back at this draft a few years from now we're going to say he was the guy to get in this draft. Again, not sure he's what we need right now but I like this guy long term.

I also think Dion Jordan's going to be star in the NFL. Might not help us for a year or two but I just love this guys athleticism. Maybe with the shoulder surgery he drops a bit. Somebody is going to get a steal if he drops. Just my feeling on this guy.

Jennings isn't getting franchised, makes no sense. I see his salary demands dictating whether he comes here or not. He could price himself high enough that Wallace becomes more cost effective based on age.

It's on Hartline to accept a reasonable contract and the market might force him to take the money from someone else and run.

Whatever happens I only hope that all out needs are addressed one way or another through FA in order to draft best player possible in the draft.

I think you'll find most bad picks are forced based on need which is why we got lucky with Tannehill last year.

Craig M....

As I read your post...it makes me think of the benching of Bush...and keeping him out of WINNABLE games trying to prove some high school type point...with one of the remier play makers in the NFL....and Bush never uttered one negative word to the press about it....

Philbin may very well have had a hand in the cutting of trading of Marshall...the cutting of Chad....and this cold shoulder treatment of Bush....

All I have to say is...if Bush walks...and were watching higlight after highlight of Bush on SC and NFL PRIME TIME (the blitz...what a dumb name)....then Ireland and Philbin will have to be held accountable....

Lets hope it doesn't get to that point....

So Armando would have turned down Wes Welker for being 5'9".

That's all we need to know about THAT opinion.

DC,

Agreed. When Making A Decision. First And Foremost Has To Be What The Coach And GM Seem Like A Possibility! That Is What Dashi Does!

Reason Why!!

Jake is #1 Priority!
Starks Is #2 Priority!
Reggie, Fasano, Hartline Aren't Coming Back!! Unless It Is For A Price That Benefits The Fins!!

(Matt Moore Is Not The Starter!!)

How Many People In The Fins Organization Have To Say! THE D-LINE IS THE STRENGTH OF THE TEAM!! BEFORE Some Of You Realize The Fins Don't Need A DE!! Or DT Early In This Draft!!

Philbin
Ireland
Everybody on Defense! (Players and Coaches)
The Whole Offense!
S.Ross
Dawn Aponte
The Cheerleaders

Everyone In The Building Knows The Fins Have A TOP 5 D-Line!! With Good Depth!! The Dolphin Run Defense!! Is The D-Line!!

The Fins Have 4 Real Good Starters! With 3 Guys That Have Been To The Pro bowl Before!! Odrick, Vernon, and Shelby Round Up The Crew! With Misi Playing DE In Certain Nickel Situations! That Is 6-7 Players Currently On The Team! That Can Play D-Line! At A High Level!

The Fins Have Zero LB's! Dansby Sucks! Zero Impact! Burnett Is Mediocre! No Big Plays! Or Turn Overs! And Misi Is A DE! or Matt Roth 2.0!! Biggest Hole On Defense!! The LB's!! 1 Overpaid OK Starter! Playing Out Of Position! 2 Below Average OLB's!!

The Secondary! We Need Cb's!! And We Need Ball Hawks!! Our Secondary Should Get Us At Least 20 INT's!! As A Group! Smith And Clemons Shouldn't Be Resigned!! They Don't Create Enough Turnovers! Each Can Average At Least 4 Ints A Season If They Just Hold On To The Ball!!

Mark in TO,

Yeah I'm not sure I said they are better athletically than Hernandez. If I did, then it didn't come out right.

I remember Fasano at ND. I saw him as a solid pro, never a star. I think Eiffert will be better. Better hands IMO. I think he'll surprise in the NFL. I think in the second round, he'd be a good pick. Ireland NEEDS to get this position figured out now. It's going to be his death knell if he doesn't.

Kris, gotta agree with Craig on this one. I'm with you, I'd try and keep Bush, like him a lot (probably my favorite offensive player right now). But for whatever reason, you could tell Philbin didn't love him. Which to me makes no sense, he's the character-type guy Philbin SHOULD like, hardworking, playmaker, etc., but I just got the feeling Philbin preferred Daniel Thomas over Bush this year (and long term Miller).

I got that feeling from not just the benching incident, but things he said in pressers after games. I don't think he likes his running style (too many negative plays). That's just the perception I got.

Kris,

I'm with you....I'm a Bush fan. I think on the right contract he's a fit. I think someone will pay him decent money if we don't (my money is on the Chargers). Only thing I'd say is, I'm not sure he's 'must re-sign'. I think we need to see what we have in Miller. I don't believe the offence that Philbin and Sherman will want to run will rely heavily on the running backs. I trust these guys to make the right call on what this team needs going forward.

So again, I'd like to see him back.....but it's not my choice.

DC@9:23, exactly my thinking. It's a guessing game either way but if you're trying to view this thing through the eyes of coaches and GM, you're bound to get a lot closer with your guesses. If you haven't seen Patton's highlights yet, take a look at one of the videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htOC2hKV7iM

Dashi, I agree, we'll probably go after CB. But they also said they want a pass-rusher opposite Wake. Not sure they believe Vernon is that guy. Not sure they take LB with the #1 pick.

Agree with Mando on this one. I'm hoping one of those big DT's fall our way or Vacarro or CB. If we do well in FA at receiver there are plenty of picks available in RD 2 at that position

Posted by: We Need Playmakers | February 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

I agree with you that Ireland would not take a chance on him but, I think the kid would make a impact. Knowing our GM I think a trade down unless a value pick fall to us.

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.

Mark,

If Ertz is in fact the next Heath Miller who was a first round pick than Ireland needs to seriously consider him @ 12. Personally I see more Jason Witten in Ertz. I don't know the circumstances of why Witten feel to the 3rd when Parcells drafted him but if you can get Jason Witten @ 12 then it's still a steal based on the career he has had. The guy is a pass catching machine. Ertz will score TD's. That I know.

This is one of things that makes me laugh about the draft--if you can get a TE who is THAT good then who cares if you take him higher than where a TE normally goes??? Same goes for a Guard like Warmack or Jonathan Cooper. People said the same thing about Pouncey. How does that pick look now???

Bottom line--If the player becomes one of the better players at his position then it's not a reach. If he's just an average player then it was. Simple enough.


DC....

I'm with both of you....i get that Philbin doesn't like Bush's running style....the OL probably doesn't apperciate it much either...

So STOP running this guy between the tackles...and TELL HIM...they are gonna devise plays to get him the ball in space.....he may get 15 touches some games...and some he may get only 10....use him like N.O. did....make sure Bush understands...its not about what Bush wants (lead the league in rushing)...its about what is best for the team...and his career in general...and that is Bush in space....

DC @10:33am,

I think you've done a very good job summing things up. Sounds like all three of us would like to see Bush back but it's not our call. Only thing I'd say about guys, remember so much of this is posturing. My gut is the team would like to get him back (but at their price). I believe this is the right call. I like Bush a lot but I don't believe he's 'must have'. Keep in mind, this isn't done yet. Nobody from the Dolphins has come out and said 'we've moved on from Bush. He won't be back'. It's all speculation and third party right now. Things can change awfully quickly, as we've seen before.

And definitely take Ertz over Eiffert. Idk what it is with Notre Dame TEs but they never impress me.

For the guys who follow the College game more than I do, is the Honey Badger worth the risk? I don't know an awful lot about this guy, other than he's had problems off the field. How good could this guy be? Is he big enough, athletic enough to play a good CB in the NFL? Worth the risk in the 3rd or 4th?

Thanks for the link bill. I checked him out once I read he was on our radar (didn't know anything about him) and the kid looks legit to me. Great routes, breaks defenders ankles, good hands.

Plus, I want one of these small school players (Miles Austin, Victor Cruz, etc.). These guys come in hungry. We get a guy from USC (can anyone say Patrick Turner) they wind up not what we expected (like they think they'll be so much better in the NFL just because of the school they went to).

Wish list at no 12 pick either:

Miliner - but won't get past Jets
Vacarro - should be there
Fisher - won't get past Chargers
Patterson - Buffalo might take him
Eiffert - will be there, might be able to trade back and still get him

1- 1000 Yd Season In 8 Years! And Probably His Whole Career! When It Is All Said And Done!!

Not A Playmaker!

Never Scored More Than 10 Td's In a Season!

Not A Playmaker!

More Negative Plays Than Positive Plays!

Not A Playmaker!!

Reggie Bush Has Never Won Anything!! Remember They Took His Heisman Away!!

Reggie Bush Is A Playmaker! Hartline Is A Good Wr! The Fins Need A DE!!

Like DC Said! Don't Think To Much Like A Fan Of A Player! But As What Ireland And Philbin Think Are The Needs For The Team!!

And 1 Thing! You Guys Can't Say Is Ireland Flip Flops! Ireland Might Not Say A lot! But When He Speaks He Speaks The Truth!! And Philbin Is A Pillar Of Integrity!

Mark, Agreed.

The Te's In This Draft Aren't Great Athletes! None Of Them Are As Athletic As Hernandez!! Or Gronk!! These TE's Are Even Less Athletic Than Egnew!!

Great commentaries this AM. I was wrong about the drivel, temporarily.

DC,

Odrick Came Out And Said He Is Willing To Lose 20lbs To Play DE!

Odrick Is Everything P.Merling Should've Been!

On Vernon?

He Is Still Young! But The One Thing He Has Always Possessed Is A Good Work Ethic! Each Season In College He Got Bigger, Faster, Stronger!! OV Should've Been Coming Out This Draft!! He Definitely Would've Been A Top 10 Pick!! This Year!! Name 1 DE This Year! With The Mix Of Athletic Ability and Production That OV has! Guys With Less Football Skill And Similar Athletic Ability! Are Being Touted As Great Prospects!!

Vernon's Work Ethic And Having C.Wake As A Mentor! Is A Great Mix!! Odrick Is Also A Hard Worker! Which Will Push OV!! I'm Not Saying OV Will Get 10+ Sacks This Year! But He Has The Potential To Do It! Even While Splitting Time!!

Vernon is Still 1-2 Years Younger Than Most First Round Prospects!

As I read your post...it makes me think of the benching of Bush...and keeping him out of WINNABLE games trying to prove some high school type point...with one of the remier play makers in the NFL....and Bush never uttered one negative word to the press about it....

Philbin may very well have had a hand in the cutting of trading of Marshall...the cutting of Chad....and this cold shoulder treatment of Bush....

All I have to say is...if Bush walks...and were watching higlight after highlight of Bush on SC and NFL PRIME TIME (the blitz...what a dumb name)....then Ireland and Philbin will have to be held accountable....

Lets hope it doesn't get to that point....

Kris,

Not sure why you don't seem to mind that Bush disappeared for about 8 games during the season. You're talking about a player that has been overrated, over-hyped, & overpaid his entire career. This team is trying to rebuild & so you want to re-sign a RB @ 28???

Does he flash the occasional highlight reel run??? Yes. Is he more accomplished than what we have @ RB??? Yes. However Bush is a luxury back not a workhorse back that you can depend on when you need a guy to grind out first downs. This is what we need to compliment Miller.

BTW--The reason why NONE of our FA's are locks to come back is b/c there are question marks about each player as to what they are worth to us going forward. Unfortunately we have a bunch of players like Long, Smith, & Bush who think they're worth twice what they really are.

Dashi, I was thinking the same re: these TEs. Egnew's college scouting report and production ranks favourably with these guys. And that's worrisome. I wouldn't spend a top pick on any of them. I know it's a position of need but the right player just isn't there. I might pick two of the second tier guys like Baltimore did with Dickson and Pitta and see what sticks. The other alternative is to get an athletic vet in free agency.

I just don't see a Jason Witten there.

... or trade with baltimore. I'd give them a 3rd for Ed Dickson to offer them some salary cap relief... don't know how probable that is of being accepted though.

Mando, I haven't done any research on Tavon Austin but I find your point about not drafting small guys in the first round disturbing. The examples you gave only makes your point even more mute because all you've said is that traditionally small guys don't get picked in the first round not that they can't play like a first rounder. Should these guys be denied the opportunity cash in big pay days because of their size rather than their abillity. Sounds descrimating to me. Now if you said research has shown that small guys are more often injured than other guys that play in the nfl, then that would be telling evidence. I'd like to see a true comparrison of guys like Wes Welker,Devon Best, Hines Ward, and Steve Largent vs some of the bigger receivers in the league with simular time and experience. Ireland needs to stop looking for prototypes(descriminating)and start looking for football players. I don't favor one prototype over the other I just like guys to see guys that can play football "play football"! Some non-traditional types are finally getting an opportunity to play Qb. I'm aware that the overwhelming majority of football minds are very slow evolving in this type thinking, if not Doug Fluttie and Warren Moon could have done years ago what Drew Brees and Russel Wilson are doing now.

For the guys who follow the College game more than I do, is the Honey Badger worth the risk? I don't know an awful lot about this guy, other than he's had problems off the field. How good could this guy be? Is he big enough, athletic enough to play a good CB in the NFL? Worth the risk in the 3rd or 4th?

Craig,

Amazing talent & has a knack for making big plays however he's small. Will that matter??? Who knows...The kid has too many red flags & I wouldn't take him.

Reading the comments made my Montgomery from LSU I'd actually be somewhat hesitant about taking anyone from there. I like the LB Minter & I like the Safety Reed but I'd need to know that they didn't hang out with Matthieu or Montgomery.

Well its off to lunch I go. Great post today guys. Don't sign anybody while I'm gone, I have the right of first refusal.

Kris,

My Problem With Reggie! Is That Reggie Is The One That Wants The Bulk Of The Carries!! Wants To Do The Dirty Work!! But When The Time Comes! He Runs Scared!

Noticed At The End Philbin Was Benching Reggie For Not Running Hard! For Dancing Behind The Line!!

Reggie Is The One That Thinks He Is A 2000 yd RB!! Yet, He Doesn't Run Hard! Reggie Is The One That Thinks He Is A Starter!!

Reggie Thinks He Is A Superstar! When He Is Just A Really Good Role Player!!

Mark,

AGain we disagree on the TEs. One of the things that makes Witten who he is that he catches everything thrown his way. I think that's what Tannehill needs. He needs a security valve when nothing else is there. Both the top guys provide that, IMO.

Mark, you're not sold on Patterson? I think this guy is a top end talent. I think he's worth the risk in the first and could become a star in the NFL. To me it's like Tannehill last year. We can keep playing ti safe every year and never take a chance on a guy or we can go after some of these top athletic guys and take a chance. With the financial commitment FAR less than what it used to be, I just think if you never take a chance on these guys you never get them. D. Thomas from Denver wasn't a finished product when he was drafted either. I wanted that guy when he came out and to me, Patterson is another guy who's worth the risk.

Given Miami's unwillingness to address the tight end position and blind spot when evaluating talent at the tight end position (Clay, Egnew), I'd be shocked if a tight end was picked in the first two rounds.

WNP...

Bush disappeared...or was injured....

their is a difference...

Bush was the ONLY player on our roster who teams had to game plan for....how many 195 back NOT named Chris Johnson have consitently beaten 9-9 man fronts....

I'm saying (as your name suggest)...we need play makers...we need luxeries (whatever that means)....and then after we have a few of these....we get MORE...not less...

Marshall coudn't succeed because he was the ONLY PLAYER the DC gave a dam about...last year it was Bush....

Good teams have MULTIPLE THREATS...not one guy....like the JAGS FINS and BROWNS....

we need talent...we needour LEADING TD Maker,,,we need MORE guys who can score from ANYWHERE on the feild...not less....

I still can't understand how SF lost the SB having a 4.2 TE. Amazing.

Here's a combine report I just received in an email, I will break this up into snippets based on each player scouted ...

Da'Rick Rogers ...

One guy to keep a close eye on this year is WR Da’Rick Rogers. A physical specimen at 6’2, 203 pounds, Rogers is a playmaker with an advanced skill set. Some scouts have even compared him to Julio Jones. The problem? Rogers was arrested once, failed 3 drug tests at Tennessee and was kicked off the team after 2 seasons. Prior to that, he grabbed 67 balls for 1,040 yards and 9 TDs for the Vols in 2011. Rogers ended up at Tennessee Tech in 2012 and dominated with 78 catches for 1,207 yards and 11 TDs. The 21-year-old spent time answering questions about his character concerns over the weekend, taking full responsibility for his actions. Rogers logged a ho-hum 4.52 in the 40, but that doesn’t concern Mike Mayock. “He’s a freak,” he said.

"Dashi, I was thinking the same re: these TEs. Egnew's college scouting report and production ranks favourably with these guys. And that's worrisome. I wouldn't spend a top pick on any of them. I know it's a position of need but the right player just isn't there. I might pick two of the second tier guys like Baltimore did with Dickson and Pitta and see what sticks. The other alternative is to get an athletic vet in free agency.

I just don't see a Jason Witten there."

Mark,

Egnew??? Compared to Ertz??? LOL. This kid was mentored by Brent Jones & played in pro-style offense @ Stanford. Not only is he NFL ready but he's going to be special. He's also considered a better prospect than Fleener & Fleener got drafted @ 33.

Eifert??? I know there are some who drool over his combine numbers but he's wasn't nearly as impressive on the field this season as Ertz.

Kris,

I was under the impression that Bush was hurt a fair bit last year too. Armando tells me he was healthy for most of the year. Is he right? I don't know. So I'm not sure why Bush fell out of favour with Philbin and why his touches went down. I just don't know the answer to that. My guess is, as someone else said earlier, he just had too many negative plays. You have to admit, that is the concern with this guy. He gets dancing and all of a sudden we're 2nd and 13 or 3rd and 11. Makes it tough on the offence.

Dashi...

we agree on that...Bush is NOT a feature back....he should NOT get the bulk of the carries....and he does run a bit scared...

I do believe however....that Bush is a SPECIAL TALENT...and should be paid as such....and used as such....

His goal should have been to lead the league in ALL PURPOSE yards...not rushing...and that is the mind set we need him to get into....

If he refuses...then both sides lose imo....

they need to try hard on this one....to make it work....

The general consensus is that the #12 pick should be someone who will put points on the board. If that is true...I think we should draft the guard out of Alabama...Chance Warmack. Why? I do not care how fast your wr's are or your running backs are; or how much potential your quarterback has...if you do not have a line that will control the line of scrimmage either passing or running the ball...you will not be successful. If this draft is the "draft" that will make or break the 'fins for the next decade...then it needs to be done the right way. Because of the depth of skilled receivers in this year's draft...we do not have to pin our hopes on Corderell Patterson, (who I was getting pretty giddy about), Swopes, and Woodson would be great pickups in the 2nd round. A TE no later than the 3rd round, along with my other CB. I would get my DE in the 4th or 5th rds, (a speedster who had one goal in mind...sack the quarterack...we can work on bulking him up and refining him as he comes along); but Brady needs to get a wake-up call starting next year...The 'Phins are coming to smack you in the face...period! We have to face Brady, Rothlesberger,Brees, Rivers, Ryan, Flacco...this means we need to control the offensive line so that we can have our franchise QB get to our skilled players; while attacking their franchise QB so that they cannot get to their skilled players. The game is still won and lost in the trenches.

Craig, I love Patterson. I'm not scared at all of his one year of college ball. he showed enough. if that's the reason he's available at 12 - then he should be hands down our guy.

Here's a bit I got on Patterson from the weekend ...

"Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson is turning into a hot commodity. A product of two separate junior colleges, Patterson logged just 1 year of Division I play. But he made it count by hauling in 46 passes for 778 yards and 5 TDs, wowing scouts with his athleticism and ability to run after the catch. As the season progressed, Patterson was also used out of the backfield, taking 25 carries for an impressive 305 yards. The 6’3, 205-pounder logged a 4.42 time in the 40-yard dash. Mayock believes Patterson has the skills to be a top 10 pick in April, but may slide a bit farther due to his limited history of play at a major school. Patterson could be plenty appealing to teams like the Bills, Jets, or Dolphins, who all pick in the top half of the 1st."

If he has the skills to be a top 10 pick as it says here, then he should be the guy because the limited production and versatility was also good.

Craig M....

I agree with everything @ 11:19.....

Tavon Austin (in my opinion, we already have our Tavon Austin in Reggie Bush ... but I digress)

West Virginia’s Tavon Austin dropped jaws with his 4.34 time in the 40-yard dash. His first run was unofficially hand-timed at 4.25. Either way, the guy showed that he’s got some serious burst. That was also apparent on tape last year, as Austin racked up 1,289 receiving yards and 643 rushing yards. He fits the Percy Harvin prototype and has plenty of confidence to back up an elite skill set. “I think I'm the all-around best player in the draft,” he said at the Combine. “A lot of teams are looking for that type of player to do multiple things on the field, and I think I'm that guy." Mayock said Austin is “one of the most electric players I’ve ever seen in college football.” Austin has a shot to be the first WR off the board in April. He’s a bit undersized at 5’8, but has the speed and shiftiness to make a quick impact in the NFL.

Mark,

I like Rogers a LOT. Nobody is talking about this guy, probably because of his off the field problems. I think he's a great talent and if his head is on stright he's going to be a very good player. If he's still there in the third, I snap this guy up.

I had D. Hopkins as my #1 receiver going into the combine, but I'm shokced that he ran a 4.57 40.
He was rumored to be in the 4.4s.
Unless he erases that mark at his pro-day, he's going to fall into the late late rounds - Damn, 4.57 is like TE, or power running back speed.
Disappointed.
***
Don't buy the newly found Ryan Swope hype.
Another Hartline type, with a touch more top-end speed. But he still is just another possesion style receiver that catches, falls down, and can't make his own separation when it's critical. He needs other dangerous receivers to take the focus off him so he can find the hole in the zone.

Eddie Lacy,

** At least 1 scout is sky-high on Alabama RB Eddie Lacy. “He's better than Trent Richardson," the personnel man said. "He goes 15 to 30 [in the draft]. He's a freakin' powerful dude now.” That’s some serious love for the 5’10 back who rumbled his way to over 1,300 yards last season. Lacy, who suffered a hamstring strain in preparation for the Combine, is fully expected to be the 1st RB off the board in April -- probably in the 2nd half of the 1st round. He'll likely be the top rookie in fantasy football drafts this summer.

** Another RB capable of making an immediate impact is Wisconsin’s Montee Ball. “I think he has first-round ability," a scout said over the weekend. "He's productive. He'll run fast enough.” Ball posted a 4.66 40-time on Sunday, 19th-best out of the RB group. Ball was a busy Badger last season, toting the rock 356 times for 1,830 yards. He could make sense for teams drafting towards the end of the 1st round or beginning of the 2nd. Mayock stated Sunday that he thinks Ball can be a 3-down back but needs to work on his pass protection. Like Lacy, Ball’s fantasy value will rest on what team snags him in April.

Clyde Gates ran the fatest time in the combine. It basically kept him in the NFL, but that's about it.

Mark,

Agreed!!

No Te's In This Draft! All Of Them Are Over hyped!!

PLUS!!

THE FINS WILL BE RUNNING ALOT OF 4-5 WR SETS!!

People! Love To Point Out That Philbin Is Running Green bay Offense! But They Tend To Forget!! Green bay is Phasing Out The TE!! Even Though They Have J.Finley As a TE!! GB Is Running A lot Of 4-5 WR Sets!! Sherman Ran A lot Of 4-5 Wr Sets In College!! The Fins Ran A lot Of 4-5 Wr Sets!! This Year!!

Yet! Some Think Because Other Teams Are Doing It!! We Are Running The Same Scheme!!

The Fins Offensive Philosophy!

Smart, Accurate, Mobile Qb!

One Cut RB, with The Potential To Catch!

4-5 Wr's! With Speed, Can Run Routes, And Catch!

Zone Blocking O-Line!

Te's And FB's Are Used Sparingly For Formation Flexibility! And Certain Power Formations! But They Are Interchangeable! TE's Should Be Able To Play FB! One Of The Reasons! Clay And Fasano Were Used More Than Egnew!!

...Craig.. There are some that are in love with the "Honey Badger" Think he is the bees knees. I'm guessing they did not really watch the LSU games(not to sound like a prick, but if you watched the games you would know what I'm talking about) Most selectivley approve. What I mean is that they remember all the great plays he made, and think that it will automaticaly equate to the same production at the next level. It may, but I wouldn't bet on it. In fact If I'm the Phins I wouldn't touch this player.

I have made this point here before. LSU could hide Matthieu in their secondary. He was never matched up against the opposing teams best reciever. He played a mercnerary role in the secondary. The argument that he would be able to have that freedom in our secondary is a joke, laughable. You have to compare the 2. In college(there is the first huge difference) the team he played on had better players around him. First round picks at the corners. Safties that play, and will be playing this year. So he was covered for his mistakes because of the greatness around him. Allowed to freelance.

Will that happen here??No freekin way. Some think this is Ed Reed, or Troy Polomolu reincarnated. Right. On this team we are not skilled enough, or disciplined on the back end to allow for a player to run around with no responsibility. Well we play a lot of zone..That should play to Matthieus strength. True. But where are we going to put him Strong saftey? I don't think so. Corner? He can't freekin cover..

You guys can have him...

Giovanni "good old Italian boy" Bernard ...

Giovani Bernard is a name we’re watching closely inside the Draft Sharks war room. The 5'10, 205-pounder from UNC tallied 1,228 rushing yards and 490 receiving yards last year. “He’s very special with the ball in his hands at the tailback position,” Mayock said. Bernard logged a 4.53 40-yard dash on Sunday. He’s an effective rusher with good hands out of the backfield. That combination will be valuable to an NFL team next season. Watch for Bernard to be picked up somewhere in the 2nd round in April.


Bush disappeared...or was injured....

their is a difference...

Bush was the ONLY player on our roster who teams had to game plan for....how many 195 back NOT named Chris Johnson have consitently beaten 9-9 man fronts....

I'm saying (as your name suggest)...we need play makers...we need luxeries (whatever that means)....and then after we have a few of these....we get MORE...not less...

Kris,

Believe me...I see your point. We definitely need more guys that can make BIG plays & score TD's but I just don't believe in re-signing guys who didn't have extremely good seasons. Bush had an okay year but it's too much of a risk to pay a 28 year old RB $4-$5 Million who had durability problems in New Orleans. If Bush didn't get injured & he played at the level he was at early & late in the season for 16 games then it's a no-brainer. I just can't see paying him that kind of money for 8 very good games.

Hmmmm, 5'9 177 pounds. Seems like I remember another receiver with those stats.... A guy named Mark Clayton.... And, oh, yes, another named Mark Duper...

Tyler Eifert ..

Notre Dame standout Tyler Eifert seems locked-in as the top TE in this year's draft class. Eifert logged terrific numbers over the weekend, including a 4.68 in the 40-yard dash, a 35.5-inch vertical and 22 reps on the bench. Mike Mayock raved about Eifert on Saturday, assuring his colleagues that the 22-year-old is a lock for the 1st round. Mayock even insisted that Eifert is a better athlete than Kyle Rudolph, Eifert’s predecessor in South Bend. Eifert could help a lot of teams drafting late in the 1st this year. The Falcons would love to see him on the board at #30 overall if Tony Gonzalez is truly a retired man.

Mark,

I had some back and forth with Armando on Twitter yesterday about Patterson. He doesn't believe you take this guy at 12. He sees him as a lower pick. I think his argument is that he hasn't done it enough in College and his YPC don't measure up with other guys (he'll correct me if I'm misquoting him). To me (and I think you're saying this too), if you're sold on the guy, you take him at 12. Who cares where he's SUPPOSED to go? I'm not sure he has BIG impact for this team next year but that's why you add a vet in FA and bring this guy along slowly. He's a GREAT talent and we have nobody else on the team who can do what he can right now.

Marcus Lattimore ...

** LaDanian Tomlinson stated on the NFL network Saturday that his “best value” RB this year is South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore. He praised Lattimore’s footwork and ability to carry the ball 20+ times per game when healthy. Lattimore, currently recovering from a major knee injury last season, projects as a mid-round pick. Tomlinson thinks a team would do well to scoop up the former Gamecock if they can get him in the 4th or 5th round. Lattimore may not be ready for the start of the 2013 season, but a team that can afford to bring him along slowly could end up with a big-time asset. Lattimore’s fantasy value will directly be tied to his health and his situation. He’s doubtful to be much of a factor in 2013.

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