By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
No one knows for sure what is going on in the inner depths of One Jets Drive as John Idzik prepares for his first draft as a general manager, but few analysts predict the Jets would dare take who is perceived to be a slot receiver with the ninth overall pick. Besides, the Jets already have their own budding star in the slot with Jeremy Kerley.
Nonetheless, the explosive West Virginia product should be in consideration as a top-10 selection for the playmaker-needy Jets.
However, Tavon Austin is no run-of-the-mill slot receiver. In the mold of Percy Harvin, Austin has rare change-of-direction skills and blazing top-end speed (4.34 40 at the combine). He has tremendous balance and acceleration, making him an explosive receiver, returner, and a runner out of the backfield. He is not afraid to go over the middle and knows how to take a hit.
The only reason why Austin is not more highly-regarded as a prospect is because of his size—being 5’9″ limits his role as a perimeter receiver.
Still, imagine how difficult it would be for opposing defenses to cover Tavon Austin, Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley at the same time? After all, the Steelers regard Antonio Brown as more than just a slot receiver, and he is just as tall as Austin.
Without Dustin Keller, the Jets need to find a way to compensate for their lack of depth at the receiver position. Plus, with Kerley only two years away from free agency, it gives the Jets some security in case he were to leave.
If the Jets should consider a guard with their first pick, how is Tavon Austin now a better option as one of the most explosive players in the draft? If Percy Harvin were to re-enter this draft, would be be a top-10 pick?
While it still seems very likely that the Jets will look to solidify their linebacking corps with the ninth overall selection, it only makes sense that a team that was so desperate for offensive production last year should highly consider using their top draft commodity on the most explosive player available.