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Tavon Austin, WR

School: West Virginia  |  Conference: BIG12
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Height/Weight: 5-9 / 174 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.282.491.5014 3210'0"4.01-
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Mock Draft Expert Analysis

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Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Video game-like athleticism with rare change of direction skills. Lateral explosion is something special, doing an excellent job sticking his foot in the ground and bursting in any direction.

Knows how to change gears and turn on the jets to blow by others on the field. Very good start/stop ability with patience and vision to quickly survey and waste little time creating, always appearing to have a plan. Goes zero-to-60 in a flash and forces poor angles by defenders, following blocks and anticipating holes to set up his moves.

Very good space player and extremely shifty and elusive with the balance and deceiving strength to stay on his feet through contact. Smaller target for defenders to square up and a tough ballcarrier to tackle in motion. Good body control to make tough catches look easy with quick hands to pluck. Fearless and confident going up for the ball. Tough, gutsy and can take a hit, working hard to get every yard.

Versatile skill-set with experience all over the offense at running back and receiver, often used as a decoy. Dangerous return man and very good at weaving through defenders, playing with different gears that others on the field just don't have. Extremely productive with numerous school records, including career catches and all-purpose yards.

WEAKNESSES: Smallish frame and limited length with obvious durability concerns due to size. Will dance too much and get caught going east-west too much or in reverse, getting himself in trouble always looking for the home run. Smaller hands and will have some drops and double-catches, sometimes looking to create before securing the grab.

Strong effort as a blocker, but obviously limited in this area and can be tossed by defenders when they get their hands on him. Probably relegated to the slot at the next level. Too much all-or-nothing runs.

Compares To: Jordy Nelson, Packers -- Allen is very similar in that he possesses just enough straight-line speed to beat defenders on the outside. He wins with the size, toughness and sure hands to attack over the middle.

--Dane Brugler

Player Overview

Regarded by many as the elite prep wide receiver and safety prospect in the country out of North Carolina, Allen was heavily pursued by most of the big programs. He even signed a letter of intent with Alabama before joining his half-brother, quarterback Zach Maynard, and signing with then-Cal coach Jeff Tedford.

Allen quickly proved worth the hype, earning all-conference and All-American accolades from some publications and breaking Philadelphia Eagles star DeSean Jackson's freshman records for receptions (46) and receiving yards (490) and leading the team with five touchdown catches.

With defenses zeroed in on him in 2011, Allen took his game to another level, snaring 98 passes for 1,343 yards and six scores to earn first-team All-Pac-12 notice. He went down with a knee injury Oct. 27 but had 61 receptions for 737 yards and six touchdowns.

Allen has the physical characteristics to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. To earn a top 10 pick, he'll have to prove his straight-line speed and health. He took care of the first part of the equation in grand style with a 4.28-second clocking in the 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine.

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04/25/2013 - ROB RANG'S FINAL 2013 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD: 13. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia: Some questioned if West Virginia's spread offense made Austin look faster than he really was, but in clocking in at 4.34 seconds in the 40 in Indianapolis, he provided numerical proof of his game-breaking ability. Some will peg Austin as strictly a slot receiver at 5-9, 174 pounds. I see him as a matchup nightmare capable of lining up at receiver, running back and returner and pound-for-pound best player in the 2013 draft. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

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