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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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Texas,

I agree with you. There is no bigger play maker in this draft than Austin. If you look at his highlights, you will see a tremendous ability to cut with the football. Think about it, 12 touchdowns that is 4 times the amount that the entire Miami WRs had and he did it 12 games. That game against the Sooners made your jaw drop. And this kid plays bigger than his size. He is tough.

we signed playmakers at WR....we need them at other positions...saftey, TE, CB

Austin will look magnificent in a Miami uniform... Particularly when he is being wheeled out of the stadium on a stretcher after being ear holed by a 6'3" 225lb Line backer with bad intensions..... Yeah... He'll excite the crowd... Just like a wreck at a NASCAR event excites the crowd....

Texas,

Absolutely no way anyone drafts Austin 1st rd and has him running out of the backfield. Especially at his smallish size. You can also pretty much rule out returning kicks when drafted 1st rd.

Because of his size I really don't see many teams that will draft him 1st rd to be their #1 wr. So, IMO, it narrows down to maybe 2-3 teams that would take him 1st rd by system fit only.

System fit scares dolfans so fiercely because when talking "system fit", we all know he's a #1 system fit for the Pats offense. It absolute ly scares hell out of dolphans, Austin will be around for the Pats 1st pick.

So much so, I believe most fans here would rather take Austin at #12, simply to make sure he doesn't end up a Brady target.

"WNP, I'm not sold on Austin either, just trying to clear the air on this guy. Mando wrote that he doesn't hit or doesn't like the gym. Well, that's bogus because a guy who is 175 and benches 225 14 times definitely puts in his work."

Mark,

Does it matter??? I think what's clear is that Ireland's not taking him. The one time he veered on prototypical size he drafted Pat White.

How clueless is our fan base that the most asked draft question is about a player that will never be a Dolphin??? Ted Ginn ran a 4.28 forty & now the fan base wants us to take a player that is smaller & slower??? Probably the same people who think Ireland hasn't done a GREAT job acquiring talent this offseason.

Again. BAPs this year lie mostly in WRs, DEs, and Safeties. Expect a run on DEs in the 1st Rd.

Orlando - IMO Patterson and Austin add a dynamic to the offense and team that no one else in this draft will add.

I agree with most that drafting Austin would be a polar opposite choice to the normal Jeff Ireland we're use to. BUT who know's maybe he was struck in the head or told to sell more tickets.

Dashi is Ahead Of His Time.

Now Is When You Are Realizing The Benefits Of Having 4 Wr's? Teams Will Need At Least 4 Legit CB's On The Field. And We Already Have 4 Legit NFL WR's!!

Running The Ball Will Be Easy. Even R.Bush Can Gain 1k yards.

Drafting The Best OL with The First 2 Picks Should Be A Priority.

J.Cooper and DJ Fluker.

Opens Up The Rest Of The Offense!! Screens, Zone Runs Outside, Counters, Qb Roll outs, Spread-Option. And The Other 700+ Plays Sherman Has In His Playbook.

Fix The O-line With Early Cheap Draft Choices. And T-Hill Will Have Time To Throw For 4,000yds 30+TD's, and L.Miller Could Run For 1,200 10+TD's!!

F'!! T.Austin!!
F'!! A CB!!
F'!! A FS!!

Fix The O-Line!! And This Offense Can Score 28+ppg!!

I remember the good ole days when it seemed the fanbase was even smarter that the fo. Now it sees the tables have finally turned. Now the fo seems much smarter than its fanbase.

Hopefully this is a sign that "Happy Days Are Here Again"!

I bet Austin does not get passed the Rams at 16. Right now McShay and Kiper have him as the top rated WR in the draft. You are talking about a dynamic playmaker with 4.3 speed. He does not have to fear going through the middle in this day and age in the NFL. Any kind of hard hit now days is an automatic flag for hitting a defenseless receiver. According to Kiper in his analysis, Austin is perfect for today's NFL.

No, LTs are positions of need for many Teams and not necessarily BAP.

I think there a number of people who have Austin confused with Percy Harvin. He's a little faster but also smaller & IMO is not as good of a prospect as Harvin was.

If Harvin can't stay healthy then I don't see how Austin can. Wes Welker's durability & toughness is the lone exception at his size which is why the trade to the Patriots sickens me even to this day.

Dashi,

I'm with you. I'd be happy with either Cooper or Fluker.

Texas I think that we are in agreement. I love Austin but I don't think the fins will draft him. They have other needs to address and Austin would be a big luxury. He is also not Ireland's type of player because of his size. All I am saying is that this kid will be a match up nightmare and that someone is going to get a hec of a football player if they draft him.

YG - IMO Austin goes between 10 and 20 so if the Pats want him they'll have to trade up. BUT yes that would scare me. Not enough to select someone just for that reason. I want them to be afraid. And they would be.

Just a quick note for the folks that may remember - Mark Clayton was 5'9" and 180.

I am a huge Mingo fan along with Jordan and Ansah. So my top 5 wish list are those players.

I think I'm getting ahead of myself here.

OK...after all the Austin talk today I am ready to get back to reality. I reviewed one of the 'experts' top talent list and idenitied a few players that I think will still be on the board at #12 and are realistic prospects for the Fins. I would be happy with any of these players.

The numbers next to each name is the 'experts' ranking. I put ***'s next the couple I think are really likely to be chose by Ireland. They only take Fluker if they believe Martin can hold down LT and use him for RT. Otherwise I think they go with Williams or Trufant.

12) Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
14) Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
**18) Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
19) Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
**23) D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
24) Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
26) Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
** 28) Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

Remember this: Right Now Ted Ginn Is A Man Without A Team.

Unless he recently signed with someone in free agency. He was drafted #9. Be careful what you wish for because if Cam-Mueller were still here Tavon Austin would be the #12 pick.

I wonder if he comes with a family too?

The only weakness a WR has that I consider a deal breaker is dropped balls and double catches. Mando said it, double catches are lucky to be drops in the NFL. They are more often knocked in the air and picked off.

No thanks on Austin. Questionable hands and definitely not a need at this point.

After the 1st three tackles theres nobody worthy of 12 asides from J Cooper. Get OL rd 2 like Armstead or Long.

Fisher would be my choice fit if they traded up.


He does not have to fear going through the middle in this day and age in the NFL. Any kind of hard hit now days is an automatic flag for hitting a defenseless receiver. According to Kiper in his analysis, Austin is perfect for today's NFL.

Posted by: Orlando Dolphan | April 02, 2013 at 01:51 PM

Believe this if you want. If tiny Austin becomes a terror, there isn't a db in this league, that wouldn't take his small ass out, in lieu of penalty and fine.

Hell, his team's owner would pay the fine for him. Don't listen to Mel Kiper. Kiper never played a down of organized football in his life. He has zero clue of the onfield mentality.

I bet Austin does not get passed the Rams at 16. Right now McShay and Kiper have him as the top rated WR in the draft. You are talking about a dynamic playmaker with 4.3 speed. He does not have to fear going through the middle in this day and age in the NFL. Any kind of hard hit now days is an automatic flag for hitting a defenseless receiver. According to Kiper in his analysis, Austin is perfect for today's NFL.

He's still going to get hit by guys who are MUCH bigger, stronger, & faster than the guys he played against in college. Can his body take the pounding??? History says no. When the league eliminates tackling altogether that's when I'd draft Austin.

BTW--I wouldn't put too much stock into what Kiper or McShay say since they can't get fired for being wrong. They've never been an NFL scout & they've never worked for am NFL team. Other than that they're extremely qualified.

Will you pick T.Austin at #12 if YOUR LIFE!! Was on the line?

Exactly!!

So, Unless The Little MF'er Is Jesus!! Ireland, will not even consider it.

We forget what happened the last time a little guy from WVU played for the fins?

They HIT P.White So hard he Retired!!

I Don't Care How Much Hillbillie Juice he Drank Or What Snake Charmer Blessed him!!

T.Austin is not Going To make it!!

Out of The Top 10 All time Wr's!! Name 1 Who Looks like T.Austin.

T.Austin Makes Mark Duper Look Tall.

And T-Hill Is Not Marino!!

Please, no Fluker. Lots of negatives about this guy including can't move his feet and not good at pass blocking against speedy guys. I see no positives with this guy.

Would be good with anyone as long as it's on offense. Tannehill needs help all over. They need to atleast try and get the BPA for the offense

Agreed, Stedman Bailey is every bit the prospect Tavon Austin is... Austin just won the glory drill at the combine .. the 40 yard dash ... however Bailey has pretty good measurables ... worth a day two pick.

Every db in this league would like to be the first to send Austin out of the game on a stretcher. They'll be privately making wagers with eachother during practice week knowing they'll be facing Austin.

Every db in the league would be going for that Ryan Clark to Pat White knockout hit. Sht, I thought Pat White was dead! LOL...

Has Irescum been fired yet?

And When Did M.Duper Or Clayton Get Drafted In The 80"s?

Exactly.

Don't Over hype The Midget.

Did T.Austin Get Off The Line Against Syracuse?

Anybody See The Sport Science With DJ Fluker?

Fluker Was Throwing A Guy Bigger Than T.Austin Around Like A Rag Doll!!

I Have 2 Words For T.Austin. Holy Ngata!!

Ask RG3 How It Feels To Get HIT by A Real NFL Player.

And RG3 Is Huge Compared To T.Austin.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | April 02, 2013 at 02:05 PM

Wow, we agree on something? And I thought yesterday was April Fool's! LOL...

However, it is nuts that Bailey scores 28 tds to Austin's 12, and doesn't even get 3rd love here. Plus he's bigger than Austin and a 4.5 40 from the slot isn't anything to sneeze at either. That's faster than Devon Bess and far more tds than Austin, and our entire 2012 receiving corp combined.

Has Zonk found anything worth posting ever?

Pat White got Knocked out because Sporano had no creativity....

they ran a DRAW play like 6 times in a row....after the 3rd time...the Steelers were just waiting on it....

I'm not saying draft Tavon....i'm just saying there is NO comparison....

and BTW....nobody has knocked out Steve Smith or Desean Jackson yet....

Hell, not only did Stedman Bailey have more tds han Austin in 2012, he had more tds than Austin and Tannehill combined.

Still we cant even get 3rd rd love for Bailey here. LOL...

Cardinals and Raiders swapped picks for Palmer

WNP, I don't think it matters with regards to Austin and the Miami Dolphins but I've never seen an offseason as aggressive as this one so I wouldn't put the odds as ZERO as Miami drafting this guy. I think he's in the mix. Just don't think he's one of the guys I'd put money on right now ...

With the 12th selection the Miami Dolphins pick Matt Barkley QB from USC.

Funny Thing Is All You Have To Type Is "Pat White Hit"

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uauae4JQ7MY

Now That I Look At It More And More!! The Wildcat Was PeeWee Football at It's Finest. You Couldn't Get Simpler Than That. Sporano Fooled Everybody. He Made People Believe He Was Actually A HC.

Zonk is just an ahole. Will be his entire life.

Posted by: tjt | April 02, 2013 at 02:14 PM

Tats because if Austin became a 2nd rd bust, it isn't quite as devastating as him becoming a 2nd rd bust. Plus, with his diminuitive size, as a gm, you have to say that you should have saw it coming.

At least if we took Lane Johnson and he busts out, as a gm, you can justify taking 1st rd risk on him.

I doubt we will go with Tavon....

but then again....

I heard the same crap about Mike Wallace..."one trick pony...even his coach said so".....

So I will sit back and wait...and hope that Philbin and Sherman are doing EVERYTHING possible to make this the most EXPLOSIVE Offense in the NFL...and if drafting Tavon Austin does that...then more power to them....

"Just a quick note for the folks that may remember - Mark Clayton was 5'9" and 180."

Texas,

Mark Clayton retired 20 years ago. The players are SLIGHTLY bigger on defense now.

D.Jackson Hit

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhET1IC0gMo

2nd Round Is Not #12 Overall

doubt we will go with Tavon....

but then again....

I heard the same crap about Mike Wallace..."one trick pony...even his coach said so".....

So I will sit back and wait...and hope that Philbin and Sherman are doing EVERYTHING possible to make this the most EXPLOSIVE Offense in the NFL...and if drafting Tavon Austin does that...then more power to them..

Kris,

You're talking about the same coaches who took Tannehill. I guess you're ACTUALLY willing to give the kid a 2nd season to produce.

Dashi...

as he KNOCKED OUT....

I can't watch you tube @ work....

YG - Today and with all the QB moves the last few days I don't see but possibly 1 QB going in the 1st 11 picks. That leaves more chances Johnson is off the board. More than likely he's gone before we pick. Some people have us taking Fluker but I would pass on him. IMO he really doesn't fit the zone blocking scheme Miami runs. I say OT may have to be filled via a FA or later rounds. I say later rounds.

Voted biggest ass on the blog...ta da Zonk and Gregg in Miramar, same ass different day

Dashi,

I remember Chris Chambers getting knocked the fk out and he's almost twice the size of Austin.

Btw, That Desean Jackson video you posted had Austin written all over it. Knocked the fk out! LOL...

While you're you tubeing Dashi.....

You tube PROTO-TYPICAL sized Chad Johnson hit....

My Bad Kris.

But Both Videos Are Pretty Good Hits.

"WNP, I don't think it matters with regards to Austin and the Miami Dolphins but I've never seen an offseason as aggressive as this one so I wouldn't put the odds as ZERO as Miami drafting this guy. I think he's in the mix. Just don't think he's one of the guys I'd put money on right now ..."

Mark,

The O-linemen that I like could all very well be gone before we draft so wagering makes very little sense.

BTW--It's not that I think Ireland is averse to adding another playmaker at WR, I think he's averse to drafting a kid at Austin's size.

Dashi....

I'll check them out when I get home..bout 30 min....

Texas,

Fluker only means they feel comfortable with Martin at LT. Thus far this offseason they've given zero confirmation of this.

With 11 picks, I believe Ireland deals up or trades for Albert. If we trade for Albert, I see a trade down and getting Trufant or Jonathan Banks. Even cb position is more important than adding a wr 1st rd right now. Hell, even a pass rusher.

We desperately need add defensive turnover ability far more than a heavily frosted twinkie(Austin).

Heck, get me any one of these receivers ...

*Da'Rick Rogers
*Josh Boyce
Ryan Swope
Markus Wheaton
*Stedman Bailey
*Justin Hunter
Tavon Austin

Tavon would be the msot expensive though as a 1st rd. Cheapest would be Josh Boyce of TCU, 5th round. Runs a 4.38, 6ft, 200lbs, alright production but crazy measurables. 22 reps (#1 for WRs), and showed very, very good agility and explosion. Since most 5th rounders turn into a bag of shite .. may as well roll the dice on this kid.

Fluker is one guy I know for sure Miami won't draft. We already have John Jerry. Same bag of fat.

Heck, get me any one of these receivers ...

*Da'Rick Rogers
*Josh Boyce
Ryan Swope
Markus Wheaton
*Stedman Bailey
*Justin Hunter
Tavon Austin

Tavon would be the msot expensive though as a 1st rd. Cheapest would be Josh Boyce of TCU, 5th round. Runs a 4.38, 6ft, 200lbs, alright production but crazy measurables. 22 reps (#1 for WRs), and showed very, very good agility and explosion. Since most 5th rounders turn into a bag of shite .. may as well roll the dice on this kid.

Mark,

I just hope NE misses on their picks at WR. I think they f#cked up by not keeping Welker but they keep proving me wrong when they let players leave.

WNP, you're probably right but as of today, I really don't have any conviction about anyone. There are literally 10 guys they can draft and I would say ... yeah, I see it.

Yes, Regular Size WR's Get Hit Hard also.

But Newton Clearly States A Bigger Object Can Generate And Absorb More Force Than A Smaller Object. We See It Every time A Tackle Is Being Made. Speed+Weight+Force= Power of Impact.

The Demolition Derby Theory!!

T.Austin=Fiat 500
Ellerbe= Silverado SS
H.Ngata=18-Wheeler
E.Lacy=Armored Truck (w/Te'o Ridding B'tch!!)

Which Of These 4 Can Absorb And Dish Out The Biggest Hits In A Demolition Derby?

The Fiat Better Be Going 100 MPH if It Plans To Even Budge A Truck. And The Damage It Absorbs Is Ridiculous Compared To The Bigger Cars.

Not Worth The Risk When You Already have High Insurance Like Ireland. He Crashes With A Fiat He Overspent On, Ireland Might Not Get Out Alive.

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