Since the NFL is a passing league and explosive offenses carry teams to Super Bowls, NFL Film's Greg Cossel questioned why West Virginia wide receiver and return specialist Tavon Austin isn't a top 10 pick, calling him the most explosive playmaker in the upcoming draft class.
If NFL is passing/space league, why is WVU Austin not top 10 pick. Most explosive playmaker in draft. Can align anywhere. Matchup nightmare.— Greg Cosell (@gregcosell) March 20, 2013
Austin possibly blazed a path to an early draft pick by running an official time of 4.34 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. While at West Virginia, Austin piled up 3,413 receiving yards, 29 receiving touchdowns, four kickoff returns for touchdowns, a punt return for a touchdown and six rushing touchdowns. He alone was responsible for over 100 points for the Mountaineers in 2012.
What Austin lacks in size -- 5'8, 174 pounds -- he makes up for with speed and acceleration that makes him a massive threat for any offense, especially if he gets the ball in space. He can play as either an outside receiver or in the slot or come out of the backfield, making him the most versatile wide receiver in this year's draft.
Cossell believes that using Austin only as a slot receiver, as a conventional offense might, would limit his potential too much and that he should have multiple roles, much like the Packers used Randall Cobb or the Vikings used Percy Harvin in 2012. He also said that Austin wouldn't have to be on the field for every offensive snap to be valuable to a team.
While teams with top 10 picks may have other needs, passing on Austin may be impossible by the time the draft rolls around in late April. Players possessing his speed, agility and play-making ability, both on offense and special teams, don't come around too terribly often.