Tavon Austin hasn’t been able to get his career off the ground yet, but it might be a little too soon to write him off entirely. He’s getting a fresh start in Dallas, and Dak Prescott says he likes what he sees.
Prescott, in fact, sat down for an interview with Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram and identified Austin as the new receivers who was stood out the most – more than Michael Gallup, Deonte Thompson and Allen Hurns.
“I didn’t know he was as good of a receiver as he was and could run routes as well as he does, and catch the ball every single time,” Prescott said. “For me, from that standpoint, he’s not just a gadget, gadget guy. You don’t have to run him on speed sweeps and all that steps opens up the offense and you can use him there as well. He’s a guy you can put out there, inside, outside and trust he’s going to get open.”
I noticed in the first exhibition that Austin got playing time with the first-unit offense. I don’t think he’s going to be a integral part of their offense, but I think he’ll be mixed in. I think they’ll use the threat of the jet sweep to help open up the running game. Austin can definitely do that. He’ll catch a few short balls, and they might be able to sneak him deep for a long touchdown at some point.
Austin was the 8th pick of the 2013 draft, and while he was largely unsuccessful with the Rams, he does have some elusiveness. Back in his rookie year, there was a two-game stretch where he scored on 81- and 57-yard runs, caught a 65-yard touchdown and returned a punt for a touchdown.
Over the last five years, Austin has run for over 150 yards every year. Only three other wide receivers have gone over 150 rushing yards in that time period (and they’ve each done it just once).
|RECEIVERS RUNNING FOR OVER 100 YARDS (2013-17)|
|2015||Tavon Austin, St.L.||52||434||8.4||60||4|
|2017||Tavon Austin, LAR||59||270||4.6||27t||1|
|2016||Tyreek Hill, K.C.||24||267||11.1||70t||3|
|2014||Tavon Austin, St.L.||36||224||6.2||19||2|
|2014||Percy Harvin, Sea.-NYJ||33||202||6.1||51||1|
|2016||Tavon Austin, L.A.||28||159||5.7||30t||1|
|2013||Cordarrelle Patterson, Minn.||12||158||13.2||50t||3|
|2013||Tavon Austin, St.L.||9||151||16.8||65t||1|
|2017||Cordarrelle Patterson, Oak.||13||121||9.3||47t||2|
|2014||Cordarrelle Patterson, Minn.||10||117||11.7||67||1|
|2016||Tyler Lockett, Sea.||6||114||19.0||75t||1|
|2015||Jarvis Landry, Mia.||18||113||6.3||22||1|
|2015||Lucky Whitehead, Dall.||10||107||10.7||33||0|
|2013||Alshon Jeffery, Chi.||16||105||6.6||38||0|
Austin is listed as a running back at the team’s website, but all of his work has been at wide receiver.
Not that any of us should be considering selecting Austin in fantasy leagues, but I think he’ll be part of what they put on the field. I think that future reduces any flickering interest anyone should have in guys like Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Michael Gallup, Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson.