West Virginia Mountaineers’ Tavon Austin Impresses at 2013 NFL Combine

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The West Virginia Mountaineers star wide receiver from 2012, Tavon Austin made a big impact at the 2013 NFL Combine earlier today.

Earlier this week, Austin said he was “the all-around best player in the draft.” I’m not so sure I’d go that far, but I have spoken before about how Austin didn’t receive the praise he deserved.

Now, NFL scouts have seen first-hand what kind of a player Austin can be.

Austin was the first wide receiver to run the forty yard dash and ran it in admirable fashion. Austin finished with the second best time, with a time of 4.34 seconds. He was second only to Texas Longhorns receiver Marquise Goodwin, who ran a 4.27 forty.

The fastest time ever recorded at the NFL Combine was Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson, who ran a 4.24 forty. Austin finished only one tenth of a second away from the all-time record. Goodwin was even closer.

In addition to the crazy forty yard dash time Austin laid down at the combine, he also bench pressed 225 pounds 14 times, showcasing a large amount of strength for someone who only weighs 175 pounds.

Austin continues to impress early on in the draft process, and one could only think he is one player who has benefited greatly from the combine. Projected to be drafted late in the first round before the combine, I will be very surprised if Austin drops very late in the first round at all.

I think given his production in college and his performance at the combine, teams will be crazy to pass over Austin. He has the potential to make the sort of impact New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker has made in the NFL.

Welker is also an undersized receiver, weighing only 185 pounds. Austin is ten pounds lighter than Welker, much faster and more agile.

Another interesting similarity between Welker and Austin is both played under coach Dana Holgorsen. Welker played for Holgorsen with the Texas Tech Red Raiders when Holgorsen coached the inside receivers the year before being elevated to offensive coordinator. Austin played under Holgorsen at WVU.

I think it’s safe to say Austin has risen his draft stock and could go much higher in the first round than anyone imagined.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS or visit his Rant Sports Author Page.

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