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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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Posted by: tjt | April 02, 2013 at 02:41 PM

I would love to see pairing Trufant or Banks with a healthy Grimes. Then Patterson or Marshall in the slot.

Loser of Patterson/Marshall slot battle gets cut or traded for a mid rd pick.

This would give us a very good cb corps. Perhaps drafting bpa safety 2nd-4th rd too.

WNP, I'm jsut concerned about ourselves and our draft. if we do this right then I could give a crap about what NE does...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg-pnyZVUoY

this.

Dashi,

Say we get Albert for a 2nd rd pick, then trade down, pick up another 2nd rd pick and draft Trufant or Banks1st rd. We still have 2 2nd rd picks, 2 3rds, and 2 5ths.

So there's still possibility of putting some kind of package to move up in the 2nd and get your boy Lacy. perhaps with one of the 5th's.

There you have it Mr Dashi, A thunder and lightning backfield of Millier and Lacy. It's very feasible.

Hell, with the slew of picks, we can even trade back into the 2nd rd and take a pure bpa that's not need based too. So many picks, so many options.

Dashi,

We can also get a good safety as low as 4th rd. Clemons getting only a 1yr resigning, I can so see a safety being drafted 4th rd or higher.

@2:54.

Good Video.

I Can See The Fins Going After A Guy Like This In The 5th.

It Also Shows 1 Good Point Dashi Has Been Trying To Make.

Difference Between Short And Small!! Cause You Are Short Doesn't Mean You're Small. Look at MJD!! B.Sanders!! Ricky!! You Can Be Short And Stout!! Short and Scrawny?NO!!

You Can Be Short And Be In The NFL!! You Can't Be Small And Be In The NFL!!

That Is All Dashi Has Been Trying To Say.

Phins78, I'd be totally on board with Star as the #12. guy is gifted as heck. Just make sure his condition can be regulated.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto

Mark, I don't know. Educate me some more on your thinking. We already have the mountain Solai, we just signed Vaughn Martin to play tackle, we have Odrick who is more suited to play inside, and we have Kheeston Randall being groomed right now. Talk about a log jam if they were to draft Star.

I'm not seeing it. Is this kid the next Warren Sapp? We have much more pressing needs at CB and Tackle so I would be shocked if they took this guy. I wouldn't however be shocked if someone right behind us wanted him and gave up a good haul to move up.

But why do you think the Dolphins should draft him if he's there?

bap

Most here want Austin out of fear of the Pats drafting him. But don't forget we can possibly have Trufant/Banks paired with Grimes and Marshall/Patterson in the slot. I love our chances with any of these.

Plus, we've gotten younger, faster, and more athletic with the lb's. That's a must in coverage of the Pats TE's. Many don't see the lb moves as significant to counter the Pat's TE based attack. IMO, it was Ireland's primary motivation with lb moves.

"nobody has knocked out Steve Smith or Desean Jackson yet"....

Steve Smith is jacked! You ever see that guy with his shirt off in the locker room, he looks like a mini hulk.

I'm not worried about him being knocked out. I'm worried that he doesn't like to work out and that he doesn't have good hands. Serious red flag on the hands.

I like Austin if he is there and the BPA I'm all for it.

YG@2:57,

You had me Convinced With Trading a 2nd For B.Albert, and Trading Down From #12 Drafting A CB or FS. And Recouping Our 2nd Round Pick.

Getting Lacy Will Just Be Icing On The Cake.

Trade 2nd For B.Albert.

Trade Back From #12 Pick Up An Extra 2nd.

1-Trufant or Vaccarro
2-OG
2-E.Lacy
2-Traded for B.Albert

Dashi Is OK with That Scenario. Actually, I Will Be Doing Back Flips!! Just As Happy as When They Cut Dansby.

I Believe E.Lacy Is The Best RB In This Draft. But Right Now, For The Fins The Biggest Priority Is Fixing That Line. L.Miller Is A Pretty Good RB and I Will Like The Fins To Have Space For When The Duke Comes Out.

Phins, it would be because this guy is not Soliai. Just because he's a brudda, don't mean he's the same. This guy is super athletic, a great weapon in a 4-3 DT. He's atheltic but also as strong as a mountain and very explosive. And we are getting long in the tooth at DT ... going to need someone going forward. not too long ago, this guy was rated #1 in this draft.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENT BETWEEN SHORT AND SMALL ????????

VERY DUMB STATEMENT .........


Just read a tweet that said the Dolphins are working hard to try and trade up. Not sure if it's true, anyone else heard anything?

Milliner anyone? (fingers crossed)

Dude, he was just relaying a story not giving a sermon. Sheesh.

Tavon Austin sounds like a Roscoe Parrish (5'9" 175lbs) clone. Parrish was a great punt returner but as a receiver he couldn't stay on the field due to the pounding he took when he got hit. Austin should not be a 1st rounder. If he is available in the 2nd or 3rd round he might be an option.

Short is short, meaning 5'9 or under.

Small could be someone who is 5'8" but weighs 130 lbs with no muscle as opposed to someone who is 5' 8" and weighs 160 lbs and is full of muscle. One guy is small, one guy is stocky, but they are both short.

Small could also be someone who is 6'2" and 150 lbs. Tall doesn't equal big, it's just tall.

So there can be a huge difference in a short person compared to a small person. A short person isn't necessarily small and a small person isn't necessarily short.

Why do these things need to be explained to adults?

Okay Mark I see your point. Thanks.

Phins, it would be because this guy is not Soliai. Just because he's a brudda, don't mean he's the same. This guy is super athletic, a great weapon in a 4-3 DT. He's atheltic but also as strong as a mountain and very explosive. And we are getting long in the tooth at DT ... going to need someone going forward. not too long ago, this guy was rated #1 in this draft.

Mark,

In all seriousness--I've heard of 'a brother' but what's 'a brudda???'

I think a reason for drafting this kid Star is that Starks is playing under the tag & maybe Ireland doesn't want to keep Starks after the 2013 season. I know some people want us to address 'need' like CB over BPA but I just don't see the draft that way.

Tavon Austin is a great college player, I'm not sure how well his game will translate to the NFL. I would not pick him as high as the 12th pick. I think they should get a CB, LB or DE in the 1st round.

Is Milliner really that much better than Trufant or Amerson or Slay to give up a 1st and a 2nd for???

WNP, brudda or brudha is an islander thing .. I think .. not 100% sure ... just pick it up on tv and movies. We don't get many islanders up here ... :)

"...the fact Jesus Christ walked on water..." Do people still believe that is a fact? I'm serious, here.

... and yes, DT is not a luxury pick by any stretch. We will need someone to fill some pretty big shoes in 2014 since Big Paul and Randy are two of the best. And by the latest pics, I think Odrick's days of playing inside are over. Dude looks slimmed down.

WNP, I'm jsut concerned about ourselves and our draft. if we do this right then I could give a crap about what NE does...

I hear what you're saying but you can't ignore the team that has had a strangle hold over this division for over a decade. Until we surpass the Patriots we're still going to be 2nd best in our own division & will not win a SB.

When the Bills had those great teams w/ Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, etc. it was the same thing. We were good but they were better.

Sorry bud, missed that "fact" thing. I am a spiritual person but don't take the Bible as literal as many others. I always read (pr:red) the stories, like when Jesus allegedly walked on water, as parables. The writers of the books were trying to relay a message and teach the reader lessons about morality and faith. To each his own, but if Mando wants to believe he literally walked on water that's his prerogative. I don't think he was asking any of us to accept it as fact, just that it is fact to him and people of his faith. You're entitled to your opinion, just offering a different view of the writers possible intentions. I've always known Armando to be a man of faith but I don't believe he uses this forum to try and change anyone's minds. He's a christian and sometimes talks about his faith, no biggy. It's all good differ

WNP, brudda or brudha is an islander thing .. I think .. not 100% sure ... just pick it up on tv and movies. We don't get many islanders up here ... :)

I need to start watching Hawaii Five-O...Not!!! LOL!!!

I'm so happy that Philbin is calling the shots, I agree with a lot of the experts saying take another Wr in rd.1 like K.Allen then trade both #2's back late in the 1.st rd and take Lacey from Alabama now that's what you call making noise you soft a** dolphin fans !!

Also Mark I think Solai is Samoan? Definitely not a brudda :)

Brudda is a name for big Polynesian guys. Hear it all the time in Hawaii. Not usually meant in a negative way.

Mark is right....both are bruddas

This much is true. This is the first time in years that none of us have a clue what will happen in the 1st round. That makes Miami a danger to anyone sitting behind them waiting on "their guy".

I've seen people say CB, WR,DE,TE,LT,OG,AND DT now. The mystery is killing me.

what other rds do we have more than 1 pick? other than 2 and 3...

"And by the latest pics, I think Odrick's days of playing inside are over. Dude looks slimmed down."

Mark,

Over??? When did they start??? LOL.

This is a HUGE opportunity for Odrick.

OH CRAP! JPAO is right, I've heard that out in Hawaii as well.

WNP, the Pats are bullies, everyone knows how to deal with a bully. They draft Austin .. then get Ellerbe to ensure that he drinks out of a straw for a month.

Everyone else, we did just fine for 5 pages without getting into the religious discussion. Please, can we respect everyone's beliefs and leave it alone?

Past draft picks already on the roster bubble;

1) Eggnog
2) Nolan Carroll
3) Daniel Thomas

YG4E & Dashi,

I floated the possibilty that YG mentioned about trading a 2nd for Albert and keeping our 1st so we could then trade down and recoup the 2nd on here yesterday.

It makes alot more sense than trading a pick to move up unless Johnson is truly going to be a top 5 LT.

The problem with the trade down scenario though is, who is gonna want to give up a 2nd to get up to 12?? To get who? Austin maybe?? I'm not sure we find a trade partner in that scenario.

Anyone see this yet? Freakin Buoniconti.

"Eifert fits Miami's offense very well and would be a great replacement for fellow Golden Domer Anthony Fasano (on his way to Kansas City according to Adam Schefter). He already has a fan in former Dolphin great Nick Buoniconti, who managed to plead with the Dolphins to draft Eifert while also insulting the team by stating "I'm sure he doesn't fit the mold for the Dolphins, he's too good" (per Sports Illustrated)."

"This much is true. This is the first time in years that none of us have a clue what will happen in the 1st round. That makes Miami a danger to anyone sitting behind them waiting on "their guy".

I've seen people say CB, WR,DE,TE,LT,OG,AND DT now. The mystery is killing me."

Phins,

I was pretty f#cking shocked when we took Odrick. I'm not sure many people saw that coming.

Don't worry Mark, I'm done. Not that interesting really.

I would offer the Chiefs a 2nd round pick for Branden Albert. Wouldn't think twice about it. Not sure if they would take it but as we get closer to the draft I think they might. They would like take a 2nd and 5th. I would give that too.

He is 28 years old and is 6'5" 315 lbs. He was taken with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 draft. He's played in 73 NFL games since his debut at the beginning of the 2008 season, starting 71. He did miss three games last year with back injury but was also ranked 9th in the league.

I'd love to sign him for the 2nd (and 5th if needed). I'd pay him $7m-$8m per year. While a rookie LT is cheaper in salary the Fins would still have to give up picks to move up to get a 'guaranteed starter.' But I'd always take a healthy proven veteran over a rookie prospect for sure.

lol true WNP. But we all EXPECTED them to take another player (haha) and now we are clueless. Maybe that means Jeff will actually take the best player available this time instead of trying to outsmart the rest of the league.

Samoa is an island, phins. I think anyone from the Pacific qualifies...

yes

Is Milliner really that much better than Trufant or Amerson or Slay to give up a 1st and a 2nd for???

Posted by: Dolfan Rick | April 02, 2013 at 03:35 PM

I don't believe so. Better coached and therefore NFL ready. Absolutely! The thing is Coyle KNOWS DB's and there is good depth and talent there in the 2nd and 3rd rds. I still think that Amerson is a guy that could be a steal in this draft, especially for a zone coverage team.

Phins, wasn't directing it to you, I thought you were very respectful and worded your thoughts very well.

Phins 78, I wouldn't be upset with Eifert at all. All these Drafts we have went cheap at TE. Keller is a one year deal. Eifert could play the 2 slot and move over next year. Keller and Eifert be incredible.

Mark,

Sorry man I don't see the logic in drafting Star at 12. Where does he play? We've got Starks, Soliai, Odrick, Wake, we just picked up Martin and there's another kid they drafted 6th pr 7th round last year. Are we moving from a 4-3 to a 6-2?

I'm all for using it as leverage to get someone to trade up but I just don't the logic in taking Star. I rather draft Austin than another DT and I'm not in favour of drafting Austin.

I'll say it again, if the Dolphins were comfortable with Martin as the new franchise LT, they would have signed Winston to play RT. They haven't. Why? I find it very hard to believe it's about a few million dollars and a couple of years on the contract.

I'd love to sign him for the 2nd (and 5th if needed). I'd pay him $7m-$8m per year. While a rookie LT is cheaper in salary the Fins would still have to give up picks to move up to get a 'guaranteed starter.' But I'd always take a healthy proven veteran over a rookie prospect for sure.

Posted by: jpao | April 02, 2013 at 03:52 PM

The thing is Albert has back problems. Why not trade up and get yourself a good LT who is younger,healthier for a fraction of the cost? Especially considering the number of picks we have.

The Dolphins have guaranteed a trip to the Super Bowl with the new logo. It doesn't matter who they draft.

Craig, all I know is the interior offensive lines of the teams on our schedule hope we don't draft Star. A rotation of Randy, Star, and Big Paul would be whooping the entire league.

How do you beat Brady? Pressure up the middle ... guess people don't want that...

Sorry but giving up a 2nd and a chunk of the cap for Albert makes no sense. One or the other (draft pick or a contract) - not both in addressing the LT issue.

I would rather have the rb Lacy than Austin you guys are crazy he has Ted Ginn writen all over him

If there is a guy in the top 10 that our FO feels is a true difference maker then I have no doubt we will trade up to get him. We have too many picks and have done too much in FA to think we plan on getting major contributors with our top 5 picks. I could see a scenario where we move up in the top 10 or move back and use all our picks to acquire 2 late 1st rounders.

One thing is certain, it will be an interesting draft.

No GM wastes a #12 draft pick on potential. Your either in the starting 11 or your not. The twelfth pick is going to start if he doesn't GMs can get fired. Theres no him-haw over potential. No learning curve.

jpao,

I have no problem giving up a second for Albert. But the problem is the pile of money this guy is expecting to be paid. He's already franchised for $10+ mil a year. So he's looking to get paid on a long term deal. What kind of money do you think he's going to want? Probably in excess of the deal that Long signed with St. Louis. Understand this is a guy who hasn't reported to the team right now and wants to know what his future is. So is this really a guy you want on the team? It's clear he's all about getting paid. So if you're confortable giving up a 2nd and big money, then I guess Albert's your guy. But I guess I would ask why we didn't sign Long for less money and not have to give up a 2nd round pick. I'd much rather we'd done that and I wasn't a fan of that.

Also Bobby, I'd much rather we drafted Eiffert at 12 than Austin. Yeah I know they are totally different players and play different positions but I'd love what Eiffert brings to the position. I don't remember the last time we had a player like that at the TE position and no I don't see Keller as that same type of player.

Wes Welker is 5'8 3/4" and Austin is 5'8 1/2". How does Welker tower over Austin when he is just a quarter inch taller?

After four consecutive losing seasons, and with the strong possibility of another one the way, fans of the Miami Dolphins are understandably squeamish. Ticket sales are at a 40 year low as Miami has morphed into a basketball city. The huge turnover of player personnel in recent months wreaks of desperation from an irelevant franchise. There appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel for whatever fan base the team still has left.

Dashi.....a slight scientific correction.....

...speed x weight = force....force x distance = power

...ut your point is well taken....

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