By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
9:03 PM EDT, April 10, 2013
Former Dunbar star Tavon Austin is about to take his elusive multi-dimensional style to the NFL.
The West Virginia wide receiver and projected first-round selection has accepted an invite to attend the draft in New York City at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, according to the league.
Word of Austin's invite and acceptance had already been known for weeks, but this is the first official confirmation.
And Austin will head to New York on Monday in advance of the draft to visit the New York Jets, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.
Austin has been projected to the St. Louis Rams' 16th overall pick of the first round by ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.
ESPN and NFL Network will both broadcast the draft live.
The other players whom the NFL has confirmed to attend the draft, which Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei declined to do as he'll spend the draft with family back in Utah, includes: Ezekiel Ansah DE Brigham Young; Barkevious Mingo DE Louisiana State; Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee; Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina; Eric Reid S Louisiana State; Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan; Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State; Sharrif Floyd DT Florida; Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri; D.J. Fluker T Alabama; Geno Smith QB West Virginia; Luke Joeckel T Texas A&M; Desmond Trufant CB Washington; Lane Johnson T Oklahoma; Kenny Vaccaro S Texas; Dion Jordan DE Oregon; Chance Warmack G Alabama; Eddie Lacy RB Alabama; Menelik Watson T Florida State; E.J. Manuel QB Florida State; Bjoern Werner DE Florida State; Dee Milliner CB Alabama
Austin visited the Rams and Cleveland Browns this week and is visiting the Cincinnati Bengals today.
Austin will also visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prior to the draft.
Austin participated in the Ravens' local prospect day last week at team headquarters. He met with the Ravens at the NFL scouting combine.
Austin has visited the San Francisco 49ers, met with the Bengals and Miami Dolphins and conducted private workouts with the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots.
Austin ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds at the combine.
Although undersized at 5 feet 8, 174 pounds, Austin's moves and acceleration are rare.
"I’ve been a little guy my whole life," Austin said during the combine. "I’m a little guy, but I play big."
Austin had a stellar career for the Mountaineers and delivered a strong performance at the combine. He caught 288 career passes in college for 3,413 yards and 29 touchdowns, also rushing for 1,033 yards and six touchdowns.
Last season, Austin caught 112 passes for 1,289 yards and a dozen touchdowns. He rushed for 643 yards and three touchdowns.
Austin said he emulates Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker.
"He's a phenomenal player,” Kiper said during a conference call. “I saw him in high school here at Dunbar in Baltimore, and he was outstanding. He was a man among boys. He's just tremendously electrifying, great quickness. I think Tavon is going to have a heck of a career.
“He is a touchdown maker, he is a scoreboard changer. You can get him the ball in terms of a running game, you can get him the ball on reverses, the wide receiver screens to get him in space, the return game. He’s dynamic.”