Tavon plays bigger than his size. He has the hands equal to a centerfielder in baseball, soft and accepting. He has the ability to adjust to the ball in the air. Tavon has excellent speed and the quickness that is unique to only a few athletes playing at any level. He is smart and understands zone coverages as well as how to get free in man-to-man coverage. He doesn't take big hits because of that speed and quickness. His excellent vision to see the hit, before he takes the hit, will allow him to stay injury free at the next level. He is fearless going over the middle, but smart and covers up when need be. He can get deep in a flash and does an excellent job catching the ball on the deep pass. Tavon is a weapon and can flip the field on any punt on special teams in any kind of weather. Last year I told you about TY Hilton (see The Huddle Report Archives) and this year I'm telling you about Tavon (Flash) Austin. At some point, you would think someone would take notice.
Size is an issue as always, because of the potential for injury, but it is not an issue as far as Tavon having the talent and ability to become a #1 WR as they come in all sizes and play all over the offense. Tavon does like a clean release to be effective and will have to learn to deal with the stronger DB's. Then again, they will have to learn to deal with his speed and quickness.
Tavon is a match-up nightmare. He can be used all over the offense and as a special teams player as well. He will need to get a little stronger, but the truth is, for a slot receiver, he is stout and as a wide receiver, he is dramatic. His college team even uses him in the back field to run the ball between the tackles and he does that very successfully. He is mentally and physically tough and if a team wants to put some punch into their offense, then they better draft this kid early in this draft. There are a lot of quick, fast players from the college ranks that will come out in this draft. Some of them are pretty good running backs and some of them can catch the ball down the field, too. The difference is, they are going to have to learn HOW to use that speed in the NFL and Tavon (Flash) Austin already knows. Having that knowledge already is the difference in being a starting impact player and a specialty player. The more Tavon is on the field, the more of a matchup problem he is. When you don't know HOW to use your speed, it's just the opposite. The longer you're on the field, the easier it is to deal with you. It's like a baseball pitcher who has a 98 mile fast ball. If that's all he can throw, the longer he plays the more hitters can catch up to his fastball and beat him. Because of Tavon's size, I'll be surprised if he is drafted in the first round so, keep track of him on Rob's value board to see what round he might be drafted in. Either way, once he is drafted, you can bet that team just selected a player who will impact right away.
Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart