Leading up to this month's draft, Purple Jesus Diaries will take time analyzing potential draft targets for the Minnesota Vikings. With our cutting edge video technology, long hours spent scouting literally DOZENS of college players from our couch, and insight from Vikings meathead CapitalJsCorner, we're give you details you never even dreamed of from prospects that could help the Vikings in 2013. Based on the team needs established in our offensive and defensive team reviews, we present to you the 2013 Who Ya Gonna Draft? feature ...
Tavon Austin, wide receiver from West Virginia University (Couch Burners!), is a potential first round draft pick for any team needing a receiver. He's a fast dude who ran a 4.34 40 yard dash at the combine, but a bit on the shorter side at 5'8". Austin has set all sorts of state high school records and has been a pretty important piece of the Mountaineers offense during his four years at WVU. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, so ... I'm sure he's watched a lot of Ray Lewis play, but hopefully that means he never killed anyone?
Capital Js Take:
If there is one player in this draft that would make Vikings fans instantly forget Percy Harvin existed, it would be Tavon Austin. Like Harvin, Austin is a smallish receiver who is explosive in multiple facets of the game. He can receive, return, and give you some change of pace carries out of the backfield. Austin is projected to go in the mid-first round so it’s unlikely he will fall to the Vikings, but his 180 pound frame may be a cause for concern for NFL teams, as he may be a situational receiver and not someone who is going to play every down. Though Greg Jennings doesn’t offer the same explosiveness, he did play a lot of the slot and had success there for Green Bay and he figures to get a lot of time there this year, so even if he were around, Austin may not be the type of WR the Vikings look at. They need a guy with size that can play outside.
I'll be honest. Outside of Pat White like five years ago and Geno Smith this past year, I don't know much about West Virginia or it's players, and frankly, I feel good about that. I DO know that Mountaineer fans like to burn couches as a celebration/riot, so does that help? Probably not. So I'm not really an authority to speak on Tavon Austin, outside of what you're all thinking right now too ... He seems small, but dynamic, but when you're the Vikings, should you just take the best player available? I don't know. Probably not.
OK, enough of these amateur a-holes. What are the experts saying? Here's a sample from the NFL.com prospect page:
Don't blink when Austin has the ball in his hands, as his elite acceleration helped him finish second in the country in all-purpose yards as a senior and lead the FBS as a junior. Don't be surprised if he turns out to be a first round pick or the first wide receiver off the board, as he is a huge playmaker on offense and special teams in the NFL despite the slight build that scared scouts away from other WVU offensive stars in the past.
Vikings don't draft him. I mean, sure, they'd love to replace Percy Harvin on this team, but aren't they already trying to do that with Jarius Wright? And if you were looking at the "typical" wide receiver prototypes that the Vikings currently have or would need on this team, what's the big one that jumps out? Probably a true #1 receiver, right? A speedy deep guy with size who changes how defenses play you. I don't know if Greg Jennings is that guy for the team (probably not), but the Vikings need a young guy to take that role eventually. Austin should be a pretty good player for someone, but not for the Vikings. With all the other immediate needs the Vikings have in the first round, snatching up Tavon Austin isn't high on the priority list. Not sucking might be, however.
So what do you guys think? Should we pick him if he's there?