Austin Confident, Claims Best in Draft - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Austin Confident, Claims Best in Draft


Tavon Austin had no shortage of confidence as reporters jockeyed for position around his podium at the NFL Combine Friday morning.

The 5-foot-9 receiver out of West Virginia was asked point blank by the gathered media if he believed he was the top athlete eligible for April's draft and he did not hesitate to respond in the affirmative.

"I think I'm the all-around best player in the draft," Austin says.

The claim came after about 11 minutes answering questions about his measurables, his speed and various comparisons that have been made between his game and others currently in the league.

Austin made it clear that his goals surrounding the weekend's drills focus mainly on those numbers that can be written down and recorded and used to boost his evaluation in the minds of many of the NFL's decision makers.

He hopes to rep 225 pounds on the bench press 15 times, which he says he did the last time he attempted it, and impress onlookers with his speed in the 40-yard dash, claiming that he has run it in as little as 4.29 seconds.

"If we all lined up and raced I think I'd come out on top but I'm not really a 40 type of guy. I'm a game type of guy," Austin says.

In the game, Austin has heard all about Percy Harvin or Wes Welker and how he stacks up to players of that caliber who have had real success at the professional level.

"I think I'm a little quicker and faster than Wes, so I know if he can do it, I can do it, too," Austin says.

Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier has heard the talk of Austin resembling Harvin, whom he has seen up close throughout his six seasons with the Vikings. Those comparisons have followed Austin since he came to WVU, where Chris Beatty coached him.

Beatty also coached Harvin in high school and immediately played up the angle of his new student resembling the old.

"I don't really want to compare anyone to Percy that's playing college football," Frazier said Friday. "Percy Harvin is a very, very good football player, excellent football player, Pro Bowl caliber guy, so I wouldn't want to compare him to any guy that's coming out of college right now."

But if that player were the top talent in the draft, as Austin claims, perhaps Frazier will be taking a closer look in the coming weeks.

Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, who witnessed firsthand what Austin was capable of when he racked up 572 total yards in a loss to the Sooners, says he sees a special talent readying himself to impress throughout the weekend.

"I mean, Tavon probably had one of the best games in college football that year," Jones says. "He had 600-some yards total offense against us, so explosive kid, explosive player."

Austin will have his opportunity to prove himself on Saturday as far as the bench press is concerned and will join the other receivers at the Combine in positional workouts and drills on Sunday.

"I'm just grateful that I'm here," Austin says. "I'm glad I'm going through it and I'm just going to soak everything up and hope everything goes right."

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