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Answer to the most-asked draft question: No

Without question the player Dolphins fans ask me about the most for the coming draft is West Virginia all-purpose ankle-breaker Tavon Austin.

I suppose the reason Miami fans love this player is because he is a surge of electricity. Here now. Gone now. Lots of speed. Great vision. A one-on-one mismatch in the open field when he has the ball. He promises many dropped jaws in the stands and dropped pants by defenders.

So Miami fans want to know if the Dolphins are likely to pick Austin.

No, I do not see the Dolphins picking Tavon Austin in the coming draft -- certainly not in the first round where everyone seems to think he'll be selected.

This, I write, because I know how the Dolphins judge players. This because I know how the Dolphins value size and weight and the so-called prototype in the draft.

And Tavon Austin is all of 5-8 and 175 pounds which is as far from the NFL prototype as you can get without being in the CFL.

Understand, the Dolphins do make size exceptions. They made one for Pat White who happened to hail from the same West Virginia program as Austin. Um, maybe that's not a good example.

Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland has told me he asks himself this question when he's evaluating a player that is for whatever reason not of prototypical size or weight or speed: "Does he walk on water?"

(The phrase originates from the fact Jesus Christ walked on water on the sea of Galilee. So did Peter for a couple of steps before he got tackled by a blitzing lack of faith).

The point is most people who are not the Son of God cannot walk on water. They simply aren't so incredibly great that the field tilts in their favor when they step on it. They simply aren't so amazing that one can forget that they are too short or light or slow or whatever other failing the player may have.

Most players do not walk on water.

Barry Sanders did.

Thurman Thomas did.

Darrell Green did.

But the list of non-prototypes in my mind isn't much longer. And while looking at Austin on tape suggests he floats very well on water, and perhaps even swims like a fish in the water, he's not walking on the surface. He's not Sanders-Thomas-Green great.

Austin caught 114 passes for 1,289 yards last season. He caught 12 touchdown passes. He was also used out of the backfield and has a career 9.5 yards per carry average. His game against Oklahoma in which he gained 572 total yards was perhaps the greatest individual performance of the season by a collegian.

But ...

His 11.3 yards per reception is not suggesting NFL deep threat. He sometimes double-catches passes, perhaps a result of his smaller hands. That's not a big deal in college because the game is slower. But in the NFL, receivers who juggle and must recatch the football often get drilled between the first catch and the attempted second catch.

I watched Austin cutups and I saw him be very, very friendly with the sideline. He searches out the sideline a lot to avoid contact, which is natural and smart for a player his size but could be an issue for some coaches. 

I also saw a little high stepping a few times. Yeah, Miami coach Joe Philbin would love that. 

Don't get me wrong. Fake GM Salguero would love Tavon Austin on his team. But not at the expense of the No. 12 overall draft pick. Late in the first round? Maybe. In the second round, yes. But in the upper third of the first round, the durability concerns caused by his size, the fact he'll never be an outside receiver because he simply lacks the wingspan to help the quarterback out there, and the good but not great hands give me pause.

By the way, some folks will look at the Austin highlight tape below and believe him to be a faster Wes Welker. Don't be fooled. Wes Welker towers over Austin and outweighs him by at least 15 pounds. Welker is built much more compact and strong. Austin is lean.

That's another thing. One scout I talk to a lot told me he has questions about Austin's affinity for the weight room. The scout loves the kid's spunk and swag and all that. But he did mention the weight room issue.

So, to answer the most asked question I get: I don't believe the Dolphins will be drafting Tavon Austin at No. 12. Not unless he finds a way to walk on water between now and draft day.  

Comments

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ireland,like parcells, always had trouble selecting offensive weapons. actually,i give philbin most of the credit for any offseason additions on either side of the ball.

You made some points but let's at least get the facts straight. Austin is exactly 5'8"1/2, not 5'7". He also benched 225 pounds 19 times at the combine, ther are some LBs who struggle to do that. He has never missed a game in college or high school. If you look at his build he is well muscled, he's not frail in the least, he's just short. He's within a whisker of being just as big as Wes Welker, DeSean Jackson and ex Dolphin great Mark Clayton. If you watch this guy, you'll see the most electifying player to come out in awhile. He just MIGHT walk on water!

I saw this kid play since his high school days and if Miami passes up on him, it will be just like Wes Welker. He may not be Sanders-Thomas-Green great yet but he has potential to be. If a team in the AFC East Division Drafts Him, we are in trouble twice a year. Hope he does not go to Tom Brady.

According to Finheaven,he does walk on water Armando!

Just look at the bowl game vs. SU.Ireland was there! He saw it!

SU won that game. Stuffed Austin particularly in the red zone. Now, Okafor,he had 4 sacks in his.

Philbin only talked to 1 prospect, K.Allen he would fit this team like a glove !! He'll be this offense G.Jennings if they trsde down and select him, Ireland&Philbin will have the makings of a very explosive offense !!

Yea, late rst round pick where the Pats, Raven, Niners, Packers can draft him....Nice...

DID AGNEW WALKED ON WATER ????????????????

TEXAS A&M WR RYAN SWOPES WILL BE THE IDEAL WIDE RECEIVER TO DRAFT IN THE SECOND OR THIRD ROUND FOR NOW.

You have to admit, Austin would get the fan base excited a tad more than yet another lineman. Roll the dice and complete Tannehill's arsenal of new toys -- You can take OL and CB in your next 4 picks...

But Mando, Here's the case for why he should be the #12 pick.
Measurables...they are many times wrong in determining a players success in this league. Ever heard of Zach Thomas? Ever heard of Jerry Rice? and the long distinguished list of players that have been stars in this league in spite of slow 40's, .
TD's...we must have more guys that can take it to the house and score in the red zone. I see this kid as the ultimate red zone threat.
Multi-threat...He can run, play receiver and play special teams.
Imagine...Wallace, Gibson, Hartline, Keller and Tavon. How will a defense play that team? Who do you not cover?

ALoco, 6:54AM, LOL!!!!!!!!!!! I think that's your best post ever...LOL!!!!

Not that I'm all in for Tavon Austin, but remember that this was the same talk as Russell Wilson got last year. He's not the prototype, but the kid can ball. I'm not all in on Austin, if he's still there when we pick in the 2nd (he won't be) grab him, but not at #12.

well like I said yesterday we need to put the ball in the endzone more if this guy will do that then go get him or someone who will, because the Pats will score alot of points and we have to beat them this year.Use the 12th pick on on someone who scores touchdowns or sacks the QB.

Honestly, there's not much of a case that can be made that can make me change my mind. Not only do I believe he can be our pick at 12...I believe he should be. This value system of saying a guy doesn't hold value to be a 12 pick is ridiculous. Every year that system proves grossly inaccurate for skilled players in the first round. The heck with worrying about a CB and other positions we don't have to have in round 1. This a deep draft for CB's so why grab the first one? And if we can't get one of the top 3 tackles we'll get the best one in the 2nd round.

If you want to give Tannehill another weapon, give him Tyler Eifert...

Philbin likes size and quiet go to work players, Patterson too cocky Austin too cocky Philbin tells Ireland no way these bragadocious guys are playing for me. Philbin loves quiet guys like Allen and Patton good keep your mouth shut type of players. Coach Philbin's type of kids, can easily see 1 or the other in Miami it's either Philbin's way or the highway get used to it !!

This team needs 2 offensive line starters, at least 1 maybe 2 CB. They need a TE that can block. The weakness of the 2 top TE's in draft? They cant block.
This team needs an OLB to replce MISI and chase the QB. They need a DE because I do not think Odrick is the type of player they want. He would get traded if they were not looking to have him rpelce Starks in 2014. A speedy #4 WR is NO Where near a priority. Lamar is a game breaker but big and fast. Wallace is a proven NFL Game breaker. No more mini-projects!

disgusted dolphin fan, to be exact he he benched 225 14 times not 19. he is 5'9" as you said, but on a 174 pound frame. That's thin. And he did average 11 yrds and change a reception, not prolific. He has logevity problems written all over him. At 12, no way that would be stupid. In the 2nd ok.

Look at that. The Seahawks have traded Matt Flynn to Oakland for a 5th ROUND pick in 2014 and a conditional. Amazing how this guy has fallen.

dadsmithwes, perfect eamples. If Austin is available in the 5th round, abosolutely draft him like Thomass. Eifer if a much better pick at 12. Durable and a need. We have several slot receivers, he's just not a need.

RR, we've had good blocking TEs for the last 4 years...And look at the productivity we got from them...Screw blocking...Give me a guy who can score TDs...We're in 2013, not 1984...

MONTREAL...

ARMANDO IS OUR GARAGE NUMBER ONE FAN .........

HE JUST TALK ABOUT HIM AS HE'S GOD...IT'S DUE OF ARMANDO LACK OF EDUCATION ..........


DID PAT WHITE WALKED ON WATER ?

Its "Egnew" dipshit,@nd I would like to drown him under water.And yes Armando is an idiot and should stick to things he knows,sorry sports n football isn't 1 of them.The Answer to ur question is Absolutely draft Austin r u kidding me,even though Dolphins won't,They are going for Oline,CB 12th pick unless they trade down I don't see Miami drafting Austin,and even if they do trade down its not guaranteed.But if they did trade lets say example:W/ Vikings 22-23rd picks for Miamis 12th & late 2nd I would draft Austin 22nd n Eifert 23rd that is what I call walking on water getting players of that caliber would make rest of teams in NFL tremble

Philbin is calling the shots now, Ireland spent the money on who he wanted. Now it's Philbin's turn with the draft, he'll either pick a Wr Lt or Pass rusher in rd.1. I also see the dolphins easily trading out of the twelve pick moving down getting more picks for next year Philbin is a genius !!

I WOULD DRAFT AUSTIN,JUST FOR THE FACT THAT ARMANDO ,THE CELLAR WRITER AGAINST IT .........

The fun fan in me wants Austin, but the sound football fan in me says OL, so maybe the meet in the middle fan will be happy with Eifert or top rated CB left on board. Do not see any DE worth the #12 pick being there.

Hey Gang, don't worry Austin is going to be a top ten pick and we won't have a chance to draft him anyway. I see us getting a pass rushing Defensive End to help out Wake in the first round, then a Right Tackle in the 2rd, a MLB in the 2nd, a Tight End in the 3rd, and a WR in the 3rd. A Offensive Guard in the 4th rd.
These players would be Bjoerner, his Florida state tackle, and Gators Jon Bostic, Michigan states Sims, Teaxas A & M Ryan Swope, and Connecuit Guard Adam Materson.

This kid would be what Ted Ginn was suppose to have been.
I say we draft him at number 12, he'll succeed with the Dolphins.

I don't see anyone with enough size to prevent injury. Long at 6ft 7 has been injured the last 2 years. Size is not a shield from injury in any case. As far as not being Philbins type of guy and Tavon being cocky that can be cured with a couple of meetings with Philbin.

I don't think so. FAgency, I'm sure Philbin had a lot to say in. The Draft is all Ireland.

Draft the kid austin. He reminds me of demean Jackson. When you do what you always done you get what you always got. Move off the prototype plus Thurman didn't walk on water. With bess on the way out get tavon and let him learn. You need multiple threats to make the offense work. Plus the phins need to put butts in the seats.

Hey, white boys, Marcus Wheaton can run circles around Ryan Swope.

Austin will be a dynamic player where ever he lands. Just hope its not with another AFC East team because it won't be with the Fins. Austin is every thing Bess isn't. Fast...game breaking...elusive and exciting. I am not sure Phibin values players who bring these skills to the table. He likes blue collar lunch pail types that do the basics and not much more. He only signed Wallace out of absolute necessity. Guarantee we won't be blessed with another wr who runs under 4.5 for a long time.

I see Ireland looking for a lot of input from Philbin but I don't know that either guy want complete say. I didn't see Ireland force the Vontae trade on Philbin and I don't see it in this case for the draft. What I can see is Ireland making moves that he believes are right and coming out from the Fatcells shadow. He's already told us how he's compromised on his principles for T-Hill. The guy wants to be great and at times is very aggressive for what he wants. So my answer is YES...I can see it.

Philbin will have this job for 10 years if he want too, he's brilliant at what he does he's a great communicator great with dealing with people brilliant in game concepts a real leader of men !! Mr.Ross really hit the power ball when he hired Coach Philbin, the best coach since B.Walsh !! This franchise is in good hands with the great Joe Philbin as our leader and face of the franchise !!

If someone offers me a 3rd or 4th for Bess, I pull the trigger...I like that Matthews kid a lot and the draft has a lot of good young WRs...Give me a draft pick for Bess and I don't lose any sleep over it...

BOYCOTT THE FINS UNTIL IRELAND IS FIRED! WE'RE SICK AND TIRED OF THE LOSING! WE'RE SICK AND TIRED OF THE CLASSLESS INCOMPETENT GM! BOYCOTT AND HELP MAKE THE CHANGE!

I think its between Rhodes and Eifert in the first unless someone drops

First, to my Miami-based brethren, sorry about the loss yesterday. But when it comes to baseball, I'm all about my Bryce Harper-led WASHINGTON NATIONALS. One game closer to the World Series.

Now where we agree. If we hadn't made the mistake with Pat White, I'd be more interested in Austin. But seeing as how we have other more pressing needs, and Philbin comes from a team that seems to find exceptional WR talent in the 2nd round, I wouldn't waste a pick on a maybe. Even if this guy is Percy Harvin, did he do anything for Minnesota (besides stay injured)? Pass.

if the dolphins think that way, just looking for size they will never be great team . austin is their way to get over N.E. MORE GAME BREAKER ....
JUST THINK OF 3 AND 4 WR SET WHO CAN MATCH IT...
1-AUSTIN
2-CB
2-TE
3-SWOPES WR THAT PLAYED WITH THE DOLPHINS QB
3-OLB /DE

He's a nice luxury, but I'd rather have reggie back.

We don't need Austin not at 12 anyway if he slides that another question we must go ot ,cb,de,or trade down for bpa whichever way we go its ok with me but we can't reach at 12

The new dolphins will be very exiting I can't wait to kick some patriot butt up and down the field

Just as I felt it would be a big mistake to pass on Wilson last draft I have the exact same feeling about Austin! Lets not make this mistake again. He will create mismatches and make out entire offense much better. Like Wilson he is a exceptional playmaker you don't pass on!!!

Letting both Jake and Reggie walk away was really moronic. Especially with so much cap space!

Agreed about Bush but drafting Austin would make up for it

Eifert Eifert Eifert! TE score touchdowns, win games, is the future. Period.

Eifert Eifert Eifert Eifert Eifert Eifert Eifert Eifert Eifert Eifert Eifert Eifert.

To me, it's amazing how much Fans are influenced by the Combine figures. The interview and the Smarts Tests are more important.

I have posted this on a few blogs- the Dolphins pick at 12 will come down to Sheldon Richardson, Bjoern Werner, or Trufant. Im thinking its going to be Werner. If they trade back, great because they can still get Eifert or Austin later in the round. None of the teams picking in the top 15 can afford luxury picks- which is what Austin is. A trade could take place and thats the only way Austin goes top 15.

The players I just mentioned- WErner, Richardson, and Trufant Im assuming will be there at 12. I think guys like Ansah, Jordan, the top three tackles, Milliner and those guys will be gone by #12.

Jake and reggie are unbothered overrated players and both selfish players don't need them or want them moving on was a bold statement to the team,so lets go and win our division

So in Irelands 6th year we are the equivalent of an expansion team. YIKES!

As of now we have 11 draft picks for three positions of need (OT, DE, CB). Draft your playmaker Austin at 12 and address the other needs with your two 2s and two 3s!

Stop kidding yourself...Ireland is going DE with the first pick this year.
CB with the second pick
OL third pick
WR fourth pick


I agree with Armando. Some of you guys think Austin should be in the top 3 of the Draft. There is no way he should go in the top 3rd of the 1st round. He may have skills that look great against lesser college players, but I'm not willing to take a chance with the #12 pick on a guy of that size, without lightning speed. There is a chance he could be good in the NFL, but you don't risk the #12 pick in the draft on a maybe. Now if he falls to us in the second round I would give it more of a consideration.

The bottom line is can the guy play football at the next level or not? All of this nonsense about value at a certain round is a bunch of crap. These blowhards like Kiper, McShay, and Mayock have to attempt to make this look so well thought out and conceived, when in reality it is all guess work. There have been so many "can't miss" prospects in the top ten for years who fell on their faces, as have been not worthy of top ten who have come actually in later rounds that have excelled. Bottom line is nobody knows.

If you have noticed everything Ireland has done this off season puts them in a position to take a "luxury pick" in the first round. And I don't know that I consider the guy a luxury what a silly term.

How can a play maker with game changing ability be a luxury? Should that not be a necessity for the first pick? How many chances does a team have to get one of those? Make the pick and take a chance to be great or we can play it safe and possibly be good.

Benny, Austin does have lightning speed he ran a 4.40 but more importantly he is a proven playmaker that scores in many different ways (Receiver, Kick Returner and Running Back) and has always been electric throughout his career just like Wilson. He has the IT factor and hope we draft him

I DON'T think they will take Austin at #12. But if Ireland & Philbin stayed true to their position last year aobut the need for PLAYMAKERS then they should really consider taking him at #12 because he won't be there in round #2.

I think he is the biggest offensive playmaker in this draft. I think he will score TD's at the NFL level on offense and special teams.

I think he is more durable then many would give him credit for. I think he is stronger then people give him credit for.

If they take him I would support the move. PLAYMAKERS who score TD's are wanted for sure.

Rhodes plays man cover coyles D wants more zone cover that's why Sean smith fell off as year went on.....started off in a lot of man but as season went on Kevin put more an more of his zone scheme in Sean wasn't to good in the mental aspect of that.......I see Desmond long before Rhodes......either way I finally feel solid bout direction of this team............can't wait for the draft...........

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