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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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Does anyone think we need to draft 11 players? I don't see it. Who needs the distraction of 11 new players after what we did in FA? I'd be content if they used the 11 picks to get 4 quality players.

LT, TE, CB, WR

I strongly agree with that, Bodine.


What makes anyone think Ireland wants any of the FA tackles? He was aggressive with everyone he wanted, he isn't biting on them. Why in the world would he give up picks for Albert when he can draft one better and cheaper?

Winston is a bum. Two teams in two years tells you all you need to know.

Posted by: Lance
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Lance I agree! Moreover what makes anyone think that the Dolphins can find a trade partner to trade up. I'm sure Ireland will try to trade up to get an elite LT but at what cost?

I like Wilson and would be satisfied if he took the next step this off season and could supplant Clemons; rankings aside I just don't like what I see out of him (Clemons); he isn't a ball hawk and takes bad angles.

Hell, I don't think Clemons is nothing special back there, but there must be a good reason for why they signed him. I wouldn't mind, Bodine, that after we draft our first Player, move up to the last half of the 1st RD and nab Vaccaro. Wouldn't mind at all.

Thanks for the civil discussion Lance; I'm out I have a little more work to finish then I am off to sleep. Keep up the good posts.

Would you like "Walk on Water" then put your Faith(trust& Obey) in Jesus and be saved from Hell!

I'd be fine if they took a safety. It may not be our biggest need but it is a need, and if a guy they like is there....well I'll trust the opinion of our scout team over the opinion of the few media mockers.

Austin or Eifert? We have plenty of small quick targets, but we don't have that big target for the Red Zone! Eifert is 6'7" and is a stud. We only have Keller for one season. Would love to have a big safety blanket for Tannehill, and someone that can get those jump balls that we need in the redzone.

I think what the dolphins need most in the draft is players that are game changers. It would be nice if the fins could land a game changing type player with the 1st pick. That can be a pass rusher or another wide receiver. I do not want them to reach for a player (OT or CB). I think that they can find those positions of need in the 2nd or 3rd round. My pick would be Ziggy Ansah. He can help hide some of the deficiancies in the secondary. We can take a solid CBirin the 2nd or thrid round to play zone and get by with the veteran CBs on the team.

1. Ansah 2a. Melenik Watson 2b. Zach Ertz 3a. BA CB 3b.Giovani Bernard/Le'Veon Bell.

They say Ertz can catch everything in a big radius and is a better blocker than Eifert. Hmm...

I like Eifert hands down as the best TE option. We need a TE like that now and for the future.

Looking at the roster and assuming we won't need all the picks I'd assume we're trading up and/or flipping picks for higher picks in 2014 ala 2013 3rd for 2014 2nd.

Let's hope the right minds are contributing to the draft room. So far so good.

I can tell Orlando is YG. It's deficiency, man. Where did you go to School here in Miami?

I think another option may be to trade back and draft Eifert. Minnesota really wants Austin but they will have to get in front of the Rams at 16 and maybe Carolina at 14. I would say trade with the Vikings down to 23rd and take Eifert. That would give us 3 picks in the second round where we can take a starting RT and CB. I heard that Sam Montgomery could be sliding back because of a dumb comment he made about not playing hard all the time. Montgomery is a beast; I saw several LSU games and I actually liked him better than Mingo. He could be an option late in the second or in the 3rd.

You are right Oscar. I just noticed that. Too bad I don't have spell check. That is what I get for writing long winded comments. More of a chance to make a mistake.

And no I am not YG but I apologize for the misspelling.

Walter Football rates last years CB class much better than this one, and he rates this years safety class much better than last years. Maybe we do go safety at #2.

Sorry, Man, my bad. As long as you're talking Football(and I know you know about it), I shouldn't care if you're YG or GY.

Armando, If the Dolphins want to increase scoring, they better select Austin. Can you imagine Wallace, Hartline and Austin playing in the slot. Whom gets the best coverage? What linebacker, safety and most corners can cover Austin...I'll tell you, NO linebacker, no safety and very few corners can, for long. Yes, he gets all the yardage he can and then get's off the field, I believe D. Sanders did the same thing...how did he work out? Most teams would love to have Harvin and what he brings to the game, yet he's only 5 lbs heavier than Austin. The only thing the Dolphin's have to fear being short is their thinking. He can play receiver, running back and returns...what player in this draft can do more and be taken with the 12th pick? NO one...no OL, DL, Corner or other receiver can.

Funny how the homers are saying so far so good without showing any W's.

From Walter Football:

This year's draft class features a decent group of cornerbacks, but the group is not nearly as talented as the 2012 class. Last year was an excellent time to draft a cornerback since there were cover corners and ballhawks available in the first three rounds. That isn't even close to the case this year.

Bodine,

I also think that Kenny Vaccaro would be an excellent option. Having Reshad Jones and Vaccaro at Safety would give us one of the best young tandems in the league. Again I just want them to take the best player available with that pick. A game changer.

From Walter Football:

Safety is one of the strongest positions in the 2013 NFL Draft class. There is talent for the first round and a lot of superb depth on the second day that will spill into Day 3. The 2012 class was a weak year for safeties. Only three were selected in the first two rounds. This year, three could go in the top 32.

What we really need is a RB, LT, and QB. JMHO.

dusty,

I don't think there's anything 'insane' about wanting to tradeup and take a LT. Most of us feel it's a hole on this team. To ignore it would be to be insane, IMO. I also feel that trading a second and then having to hand out a huge contract to a guy who's hand some injuries and who quite honestly looks like he's just looking to get paid, is somewhat 'insane' in my opinion. We can agree to disagree on this one but that doesn't make it 'insane'.

Fishpete,

I am also a big fan of Austin. However, Ireland probably will not go in that direction.

Your take on Austin is correct though. The possibilities would be endless. Can you imagine a formation with Wallace, Hartline, and Gibson at WR, Kellar at TE, and then Austin and Miller lined up in the backfield together. Who do you cover? The mismatches would be tremendous the defense would be forced to put a LB on Austin with that formation. A slant to Austin and he could take it to the house.

Craig M,

I agree that ignoring the LT problem is insane. But that doesnt mean they wont do it lol

I know Ireland likes WV players but I'd rather draft Austin Powers.

Tyler Eifert would make a lot of sense at #12, we need our Jermichal Finley, or Grankowski for this offense. Keller is on a one year contract, and Clay does not have the size you want in the redzone. I think we can land Eifert in the 1st and then get someone almost as good as Austin in the 2nd or 3rd that already is familure with Tannehill. How about Eifert in the first and Swope in the 2nd or 3rd. He ran just as fast as Austin at the combine. Both of them ran a 4.34 Fourty and Swope already knows the offense and has good chemistry with Tannehill.

No way I would trade up for an OT. There will be plenty of options in the second round to find an OT like Watson, Pugh, Terron Armstead, or Brennan Williams. They can also take a guard like Dallas Thomas or Barret Jones and move Jerry to RT.

I would only trade up for a playmaking WR, QB, a shut down corner, or a big time pass rusher but not for OL help. Let's just stay at 12 and take the BPA (Ansah, Vaccaro, Austin, Cooper, Warmack, and who knows maybe Lane Johnson).

I like Swope also but he is not as good as Austin. Austin has a tremendous ability to run with the football. His cut ability is rare but we don't take Austin, I would be happy with Swope in the 3rd.

Eifert at 12 may be a bit too high but I would love to trade down to grab him. Kellar and Eifert would give us a serios threat from that position.

Oscar,

???????????????????????????????????????????????????

I'm not sure I believe that Jake Long is damaged goods. They said Drew Brees was damaged goods too. If he is damaged goods its a shame he couldnt be productive for 12 years with the Fins. If he's not damaged goods its a shame Ireland let him walk away.


is it me or does odin try so hard to cover the fact that hes gay, honest question

Posted by: dusty bottoms | April 02, 2013 at 09:03 PM
======================================================

Dusty.........NOT YOU TOO-LOL!

I always thought you were just a Mentally Challenged Dullurd. I didn't realize(at least I had hoped)you weren't just another of ALoco's Multiple Personalities.

NOW WE KNOW.

BTW - Why are you so curious about whether or not I'm Gay?

You trying to get with me?

You hitting on me GayTard? I'm about to tell Mario if you don't knock it off.

Odin don't swing that way.........Dip Shyt!

ValHalla!!!!


You look at what Gronkwoski and Graham have become. How many teams are kicking themselves for letting these guys pass them bye. If you can land the next Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham why not take them in the first. Save money for four years and have that security blanket that every young QB needs. Would Matt Ryan, or Joe Flacco be as good without Tony Gonzalez, and Todd Heap, later Dennis Pita for Flacco?

I always worry about WRs 5'8 175 lbs the pros you have big fast CBs. If he is there AT 12 I guess the war room will be looking at the board wondering if they should or should not. I have very mixed feelings, even though I love good receivers. There should be a WR later, so I hear.

Amazing in all this speculation the forgotten position is running back. We have.....NO running back.

The amazing disappearing Daniel Thomas doesn't count, nor does our UM wonderboy who is not an every down bruiser.

We have no running back.

Oh, that's right...they are "everywhere" and can be "picked up anytime." Right.

K Allen in the 2nd rd would be okay I think but not at 12

Darrel Green was much faster...he had an official 10.01 100 meters and a 30.12 - 200 meters both Olympic speed times.

make that 20.12 - 200 meters.

We're gonna get Adrian Peterson. Ireland will get it done.

Omar Kelly has just posted his Mock Draft. He is projecting Xavier Rhodes to the fins highlighting that he is an Ireland type player. I wonder if Omar has some insight.

BTW- He has Austin going to the Rams at 16.

Just like worms are good for soil, trolls are good for the blog.

Look how nicely they sent the whiny Kris and Odin back to their cribs.

Look how nicely the blog is flowing on topic without their soap opera distractions.
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Um, you spoke to soon.

The blog was going great, odin arrives with his juvenile antics, and look what happens...back to the cesspool.

Orlando,

Omar was also the biggest Sean Smith homer. He's looking for a new boyfriend since his boy toy Smith is gone.


Look at it like this why draft the 2nd rated best player at a position when you can draft the highest rated player at a poistion. Austin or Eifert at #12? We need a Gronkowski, we already have Bess and Gibson for the slot. But we need a big target for Tannehill, Wallace will stretch the field opening up the middle of the field for our guys underneath. Imagine Eifert and Keller as our versions of Gronkowski and Hernandez. Plus Eifert gives you that big target in the redzone, where Austin is smaller and would do his damage further away from the endzone.

I seem to recall Omar saying a month or 2 ago Rhodes was a second round talent. Now hes going to go at 12? Not really a big fan of Omar to be honest.

Who cares about the running backs. None of our receivers can block.

Omar, like Armando, are dumb, bible thumpers who as journalists, have a disgraceful command of the English language.

Don't trade up for a one of the big 3 LT's stay put at #12 and draft Eifert, Terron Armstead in the 2nd, and Darrius Slay or the CB from SC Gamecocks with our 2nd, 2nd round pick. Pick up Ryan Swope in the 3rd and we got our speedy slot guy, then best available DE with our 2nd 3rd round pick.

John,

Not bad. Not sure about Eifert going at 12 but I do like him and think he is the best TE in the draft. I like all of your other picks too. No need to reach for a CB or an OT in the first round. I really like Terron Armstead or Melenick Watson. Sam Montgomery could be a sleeper and may slip to our 2nd 3rd round pick. He would have been a late #1 or early # 2 if not for a stupid comment that he recently made.

What can I say, we all like to play fantasy GM this time of year. But if Ireland is reading this forum and wants to sign me for a scout, I would gladly quit my job and come work for him. Lol.....

RB is a huge problem. Amazed they havent done anything.

You guys are crazy with these picks. The 2nd round LT's and corners will not be upgrades.

Half those guys you mention look good on paper, in college, but you get them on the field in NFL and guess what, they look like just another player.

How can you not love Terron Armstead? Talk about a good fit for a zone blocking scheme. The dude ran the fastest 40 for an O-linemen in NFL Scouting Combine History. Country Strong, 31 reps of 225 lbs. regarded as the best OL in the East - West Shrine Game, and held his own against the bigger school guys at the Senior Bowl. His stock is so hot, he probably won't make it to the 2nd round. Reminds me of another small school athletic freak that was projected to go 2nd or 3rd round but after a breakout combine made it to the 1st Round. DT Linval Joseph.

Personally I would draft Tyler Eifert - a near certain long term starter, great target for Tannehill, answer to TE question for a decade.

I like Austin and think he has potential in part remembering a similar sized Mark Clayton. But I would rather have Patterson if we were to pick a WR and I think Austin may become great but probably will be a situational player whose impact is limited. His film does look great but the college game is much slower.

oavery, how can you think any TE would be the answer for a decade when no player stays on the team for more then 3 years?

Definitely Eifert over Austin. Eifert is pretty much of a lock as a starter TE with the potential to be a great TE. Austin would be a great 2nd round pickup but it is not even clear that he would start over Bess.

If you can draft the next Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski you draft him. Tyler Eifert is that kid. Wallace is going to stretch the field, opening up the middle for Eifert who is big? You don't have to worry about his size, like you do with Austin. Plus he gives you that big redzone target. Keller is big but he is not that big as far as TE go. Keller and Eifert could be our version of Gronkowski and Hernanadez.

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