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Tavon Austin visits Lions, compares himself to Reggie Bush

Tavon Austin AP

The Lions had a hard time finding a strong complement to Calvin Johnson at wide receiver last season, which explains why they’re meeting with one of the top draft prospects at the position on Wednesday.

West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin is in Detroit to meet with the team for one of their final face-to-face meetings before the draft gets underway next week. Austin’s been a busy man of late, lining up visits with just about every team picking in the top half of the first round. Austin spoke to Tim Twentyman of the Lions’ website about why he thinks teams are so interested in his services — “Pretty much all skill positions on offense you can play, as well as returning punts and kicks. Just get me in space” — and compared himself to a new member of the Detroit offense.

“Another type of player like Reggie (Bush). Me and him would probably be twins back there,” Austin said.

Austin’s explosiveness is awfully appealing, although you have to wonder if the Lions would be willing to spend the fifth pick in the draft on a receiver who doesn’t profile as the kind of big, outside threat they have in Johnson. Good as Austin looks, the Lions have big needs in other spots that could take precedence. If they were to deal down a few spots and add a pick or two to address those needs, however, Austin would likely become a stronger candidate to give the Lions twins on offense.

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21 Responses to “Tavon Austin visits Lions, compares himself to Reggie Bush”
  1. ingraven says: Apr 17, 2013 10:19 AM

    What a fun couple of months this guy must’ve had. He only visited like EVERY NFL team there is.

  2. milkmandanimal says: Apr 17, 2013 10:26 AM

    Reggie Bush has had a decent career but not nearly the impact he was expected to have when he came into the league; is this really the guy you want to be comparing yourself to?

  3. EJ says: Apr 17, 2013 10:28 AM

    Going into the NFL at his size, He’s a walking injury waiting to happen. I think he is great when he has space, but there is not much space in the NFL.

  4. tinbender2000 says: Apr 17, 2013 11:05 AM

    At least he didn’t compare himself to Titus Young and demand they “get me the damn ball every play!”

  5. Andrew Bailey says: Apr 17, 2013 11:27 AM

    The only size difference between Tavon Austin and Steve Smith/Wes Welker is about 10 pounds and both of those guys have done a pretty good job of staying healthy and productive. There are certainly examples of small players who proved unable to withstand the punishment of the NFL (Pat White comes to mind), but I think saying he’s an injury risk solely because of his size is unfounded and erroneous.

  6. ihatethejets23 says: Apr 17, 2013 11:38 AM

    So he’s comparing himself to a mediocre RB?

  7. ozymandias121 says: Apr 17, 2013 11:51 AM

    So he is going to get laid out in game 1 and have a disappointing career?

  8. mack2x says: Apr 17, 2013 11:56 AM

    Lions take another WR in the first round and things could get ugly in Allen Park.

  9. chasechorleone313 says: Apr 17, 2013 12:04 PM

    Wait now slow down tavon I see where your coming from a Lil with the speed and elussiveness but there’s no way you could take As many hits as.reggie no knock on him plus I love the guy but his body is too small

  10. detroitrollin22 says: Apr 17, 2013 12:16 PM

    He’s going to be drafted by Buffalo

  11. greysolon says: Apr 17, 2013 12:22 PM

    Great player. Way too small.

    With the new awareness of concussion symptoms, it’s hard to believe he will last more than a few years.

    Smaller guys who last in the NFL are the thick guys like Darren Sproles and MJD.

  12. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 17, 2013 12:29 PM

    He’s high on my board. The Lions can be major winners in this draft if they find ways to trade down. There could be multiple chances to drop from that first pick and we could pick up enough ammo to justify a Tavon selection. I’m interested!!

  13. tjacks7 says: Apr 17, 2013 12:30 PM

    Lets not forget that he’s never missed a game dating all the way back to his high school days. Yes, he’s small. But you can’t label a guy injury prone that’s never been injured.

  14. phinfan says: Apr 17, 2013 12:40 PM

    So he can’t be an every down back too?

  15. theytukrjobs says: Apr 17, 2013 12:54 PM

    No doubt he’s an intriguing player but he’s 170 pounds and 5’8″. There are some short players in the NFL but they are usually “thick” as well.

    Problem is that if the average NFL player hits him square that his body will go in the other direction so abruptly that concussions and other injuries are likely even if he isn’t hit helmet to helmet.

    He can take outside handoffs, bubble screens, and fade routes no problem and protect himself and there is a career as role player to be had there. But returning kicks/punts and catching passes over the middle, like most slot WR’s, is not going to work IMO with a guy of his stature.

    Tell me a single player in the NFL in the last 10 years that is as small as Tavon that has been good. And jukiness is never a great trait to hang your hat on entering the NFL because it is tough to break tackles at that level by simply running around guys. You ahve to break arm tackles.

    Percy Harvin isn’t that big, but he’s a fair amount bigger than Austin. Harvin is great at breaking tackles, but he usually cuts himself into an arm tackle and then blows through it. Tavon is down once he’s touched, period.

    Meh I just think some team’s going to take him too high, he’ll have a few crazy highlights, but 3 years from now we’ll look at his total stats and there won’t be a whole lot to look at.

  16. detlions80 says: Apr 17, 2013 1:08 PM

    tjacks, there’s this one guy on the Lions who never missed a game through h.s. and college. His first two years in the NFL I think he played a collective 13 games. JINX!!!

  17. greysolon says: Apr 17, 2013 2:31 PM

    Well said tukr

  18. mjkelly77 says: Apr 17, 2013 2:58 PM

    So the little guy thinks he can line up opposite Megatron? The $ signs in his eyes are blinding him to reality. He’s just posturing, hoping to go #5. Thanks anyway. I’ll pass.

  19. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Apr 17, 2013 3:20 PM

    I think Austin will be a heck of an offensive weapon but more effective than Bush by far.

  20. leoskoolaid says: Apr 18, 2013 5:08 AM

    If detroit could find a trade partner (Rams,Jets) I think it would be a great move he would fill the void left be titus young.With all the one on one coverage he’d see all he would have to do is run deep. And with his 4.34 speed I don’t think he’d have to worry about people catching him let alone tackling him, and he’d be insurance if bush gets injured.

  21. lionsyooper says: Apr 19, 2013 6:21 PM

    The guy scored a 7 on the Wonderlic Test! I think my dog could score better than that just randomly picking answers.
    If he is most comparable to Reggie Bush, then why would we want him if we JUST SIGNED REGGIE BUSH?
    This guy seems like he has great speed, good hands, but a lack of brains; which reminds me of a recent Lions WR in Titus Young. We don’t need another Titus Young on the team, no matter how talented he may be…

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