Chicago Bears Select:
Tavon Austin - WR West Virginia
I hoped to have one of the top OL prospects fall to me, but this is a nice consolation for Cutler and company. Good luck double teaming Brandon Marshall and leaving Austin in single coverage underneath. He is an instant impact in Special Teams and can help the sluggish Bears offense have that home run threat..
STRENGTHS: Video game-like athleticism with rare change of direction skills. Lateral explosion is something special, doing an excellent job sticking his foot in the ground and bursting in any direction.
Knows how to change gears and turn on the jets to blow by others on the field. Very good start/stop ability with patience and vision to quickly survey and waste little time creating, always appearing to have a plan. Goes zero-to-60 in a flash and forces poor angles by defenders, following blocks and anticipating holes to set up his moves.
Very good space player and extremely shifty and elusive with the balance and deceiving strength to stay on his feet through contact. Smaller target for defenders to square up and a tough ballcarrier to tackle in motion. Good body control to make tough catches look easy with quick hands to pluck. Fearless and confident going up for the ball. Tough, gutsy and can take a hit, working hard to get every yard.
Versatile skill-set with experience all over the offense at running back and receiver, often used as a decoy. Dangerous return man and very good at weaving through defenders, playing with different gears that others on the field just don't have. Extremely productive with numerous school records, including career catches and all-purpose yards.
WEAKNESSES: Smallish frame and limited length with obvious durability concerns due to size. Will dance too much and get caught going east-west too much or in reverse, getting himself in trouble always looking for the home run. Smaller hands and will have some drops and double-catches, sometimes looking to create before securing the grab.
Strong effort as a blocker, but obviously limited in this area and can be tossed by defenders when they get their hands on him. Probably relegated to the slot at the next level. Too much all-or-nothing runs.