Intro: Austin has really emerged in the past few weeks as a dynamic playmaker. Many have taken to calling him Tavon Harvin, alluding to his playmaking ability that reminds many (including myself) of the former Florida Gator, or Tavon Awesome, alluding to the obvious- Tavon Austin is awesome. He is obviously undersized, but he compensates for his lack of size with great speed, elite burst, acceleration, change of direction and impressive vision. He doesnít have great hands, but when he has the ball in his hands anything can happen. He has made some truly amazing plays and put together some extremely impressive performances this season, and almost single-handedly jump-started the West Virginia offense by balancing the offense when they gave him touches at running back out of the backfield. Heís a dynamic player, and he looks like he has a shot at the 1st round. A creative offensive coordinator could get a lot of mileage out of him, but even in a traditional offense he will make plays on offense and on special teams.
Size: This is one of Austinís biggest drawbacks as a prospect. He is listed at 5í9Ē 172 pounds but I wouldnít be surprised if he measured in at 5í8.Ē His size is definitely concerning but the way the NFL is changing to protect receivers and essentially eliminate big hits players with Austinís size will have a better shot at avoiding injury. This is going to be a negative grade from pretty much every scout, but with kick returns being less violent than in previous years Austin should be somewhat protected as a dynamic slot/return man at the next level.
Speed: Austin has sub 4.5 speed without a doubt. I donít think heís going to get into the 4.3ís even though it might seem like it at times. Heís in the 4.45-4.48 range if you ask me, but thatís fast enough to outrun angles and rip off big chunks of yardage at the next level. Heís shown that he can take a short reception, a run of the mill carry or any return the distance with his speed. I think itís one of his strong suits, but I think a lot of people will see his long runs and assume heís a 4.3 guy. I have to say Iím not convinced of that right now.