Baltimore Ravens

Former Dunbar star Tavon Austin says, "I'm the best all-around player in the draft'

INDIANAPOLIS -- — West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin's game is defined by his trademark elusiveness, making defenders fall down with his repertoire of moves.

And confidence doesn't elude the former Dunbar star off the field, either.


When asked where he stacks up in this draft and if he's the top all-around prospect, the projected first round draft pick replied: "I think so. I think I'm the all-around best player in the draft. A lot of teams are looking for that type of player to do multiple things on the field, and I think I'm that guy."

Austin finished his career with 288 catches for 3,413 yards and 29 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,033 yards and six touchdowns.


Austin measured in at 5-foot-8, 174 pounds. He said he has run the 40-yard dash in 4.29 seconds with noted speed trainer Tom Shaw during workouts before the combine in Orlando, Fla.

He's hoping to run anything under 4.4 seconds at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

He also said he can bench press 225 pounds 15 times.

Austin downplayed whether his lack of ideal size will lead to injuries.

"No, it definitely shouldn't be a problem,"  Austin said. "I haven't missed a game in eight years so I think my durability should be pretty good.

Last season, Austin caught 114 passes for 1,289 yards and a dozen touchdowns last season. He also rushed for 643 yards and three touchdowns, gaining 344 yards and scoring two touchdowns on 21 carries against Oklahoma last season.

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman acknowledged the similarities between Austin and Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin.

"He is a very explosive player," Spielman said. "It's amazing what he does for his size. He's a pretty unique football player."


Of course, Austin was asked about his 572 all-purpose yards gained against Oklahoma last season where he lined up at running back and rushed for 344 yards on 21 carries.

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"It was more exciting than anything," Austin said. "It was a big game against Oklahoma and it kind of reminded me of my high school days. I give all the love to my linemen and the coaches believing in me. That was the first game I played running back the whole year and I'm glad with how it went."

As for his lack of size, Austin said he embraces his diminituve stature.

"I don't really get tired of it," Austin said. "I just take it and put it on my back. I've been a little guy my whole life. I'm a little guy, but I play big."

Austin said he emulates the play of New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.

"That's my No. 1 guy," he said. "I watch a lot of tape of him. I think I'm a little quicker and faster than him. So I figure if he can do it, I can do it too."