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Evan Silva Doubting Tavon

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by RamBill, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. RamBill

    RamBill Well-Known Member

    Evan Silva @evansilva ·

    1. Skeptical TA's start-stop-restart game works in NFL. What NFL WRs are successsful with stop-restart game? Harvin & that's pretty much it.

    2. Austin isnt Harvin. He's ~20 lbs lighter & doesnt play with near the physicality of Harvin. PH is a physical tackle breaker. Austin isnt.

    3. Austin's hands were big problem in Yr 1. Big issue for WR. I didnt see this in 4 cfb games I looked at, but others did mention pre-draft.

    4. Austin's strength, theoretically, is ability to create own space. Rarely did as rookie. What's value of 5'8/176 WR who cant create space?

    5. Austin isnt a vertical WR. He's a contact-averse slot WR with shaky hands who needs space to operate. Many limitations for top-ten pick.

    Sometimes great cfb players aren't great in NFL. I think Tavon can help #Rams as package player. I don't think he'll meet top-10 expectations.

    Ultimately, I think Austin is more Dexter McCluster than Percy Harvin.

    For ppl saying 'Let's wait 3 years,' I personally try to focus on prognostication more than hindsight analysis. This is my take after Yr 1.

    I liked Tavon Austin coming out (pre-draft writeup below), but I think I missed some things when projecting him.

    Tavon Austin, Satellite Player
    Tuesday, February 26, 2013
    By Evan Silva


    West Virginia slotback Tavon Austin first caught my attention during the 2011 college season. Most memorably, I watched him light up LSU's dominant defense for 187 receiving yards and Clemson for 163 yards from scrimmage in the Orange Bowl. Austin could have entered the draft following that season, but he stayed for his senior year and turned in another prolific campaign.

    Austin looked awesome on television. But I wanted to examine his game more closely ahead of the 2013 draft. What makes Austin great? Will his playing style translate to the next level?

    I selected four of Austin's games to re-watch, charting each of his touches. One of the games was West Virginia versus Oklahoma, essentially Austin's audition to be an NFL running back. Austin handled 21 carries, shredding the Sooners for 344 yards (16.4 YPC) and two touchdowns. The stats are meaningless to me, though. I'm more concerned with Austin's traits as a football player.

    Tavon Austin is a satellite player. He undresses defenders in space, utilizing outstanding vision to set up opponents before breaking them down. Austin starts, stops, and restarts on a dime. His change-of-direction ability is special and will remain so in the pros. Among NFL skill-position players, only Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, C.J. Spiller, and perhaps Jamaal Charles can match Austin's combination of foot quickness and short-area explosion. He's like a lankier, more naturally elusive Darren Sproles.

    All of those traits were evident in each game I viewed. But the Oklahoma game gives college-to-pro evaluators something else to consider. Listed at a diminutive 5-foot-9 and 174 pounds, Austin ran between the tackles and fell forward to finish runs. As a slot receiver, he repeatedly executed strong downfield run blocks. Austin displayed a toughness not often associated with players who butter their bread by getting out in space. He was a legitimate workhorse against the Sooners, handling 33 combined special teams and offensive touches en route to 121 yards after contact. Austin is not a physical, after-contact-yardage player, but he is willing to mix it up and work for yards. He can run through arm tackles. Because he played so many snaps at running back, West Virginia-Oklahoma was a consummate display of Austin's toughness, vision, and absurd foot quickness in high-traffic situations behind and around the line of scrimmage.

    Austin was also an efficient pass catcher. I charted 29 targets and charged him with a single drop. Austin secured 24. Three contested receptions stood out. The first came against Kansas on an underthrow from quarterback Geno Smith. Running a fly pattern from the right slot, Austin adeptly stopped his route and came back to make a leaping catch with two Jayhawk defenders in the vicinity, for a gain of 32. On fourth-and-six versus Texas, Austin again successfully leaped for an 11-yard reception with a defender draped all over him. Against Oklahoma, Austin ran a go route out of the right slot and created just enough space over the top of Sooners corner Gabe Lynn for Smith to complete a tight-window throw over Austin's shoulder, gaining 41 yards. The majority of Austin's other catches came on high-percentage screens, quick-outs, running back flat routes, and "push passes," where Smith quickly tossed to a motioning Austin coming on an end-around.

    A few plays made me curious about Austin's long speed. In a dead-heat downfield sprint, Austin couldn't separate from Kansas cornerback Tyler Patmon. In a 2011 game versus LSU, Austin got pushed out of bounds from behind by allegedly speed-deficient Tyrann Mathieu after a race down the right sideline. Austin had trouble getting open versus Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro, and he only narrowly outran Iowa State safety Jacques Washington on a 75-yard score. I think Austin's forty time might register a tick slower than most expect. But I don't think it makes a big difference.

    All told in the four 2012 games, I charted 86 of Austin's touches, including penalty-negated plays. He forced a whopping 59 missed tackles, doing it from myriad alignments. Austin returned punts and kicks. He played left slot and right slot, and both carried the football and ran pass patterns as a traditional tailback. Sending Austin in motion -- either to distract the defense or simply put the ball in Austin's hands with a running start -- was an integral part of coach Dana Holgorsen's offense. Austin is a jack of all trades. More importantly, he seems to have mastered all of them.

    Tavon Austin is an explosive, dynamic big-play threat with versatility creative NFL offensive coordinators will covet. I expect him to be a movable-chess-piece weapon in an offense at the next level. Austin brings field position-altering return value to the table, as well.

    Sensible NFL Team Fits: Patriots, Bears, Broncos, Eagles, Redskins, Panthers.
  2. Rams and Gators

    Rams and Gators Well-Known Member Pit Boss


    Never mind just done a Wikipedia search and apparently he's the guitarist of the Christian rock band Chasen.
    Volnerman08 likes this.
  3. rdw

    rdw Well-Known Member

    Evan Silva [​IMG]
  4. -X-

    -X- I'm the dude, man.

    The Dude
    He's not a vertical receiver?
  5. The Rammer

    The Rammer ESPN Draft Guru

    Can't say I totally disagree with his breakdown of Tavon's first year. However I do think he is going to be much improved this year as long as he stays healthy.
  6. thirteen28

    thirteen28 Well-Known Member

    Good. I want everybody in the league outside of our organization/fanbase to doubt our players, coaches, our team. That way it will be far more satisfying when we get to take their doubts and shove them up their asses.

    Remember when we were going to finish last in our division in 1999?
  7. PolarBear

    PolarBear New Member

    Silva hates the Rams, he has an anti-Ram bias.
    Volnerman08 likes this.
  8. CanadaRam

    CanadaRam No guts, No glory.

    I think Tavon can be very good. Just don't see where he fits with the Rams.
    Ground and Pound.
    The creating space is tough for me on Rams O.
    We need a spread for TA, just do not see a great fit. He has talent, hope Schotty is more of a wiz than I give him credit for
  9. Ram Quixote

    Ram Quixote Knight Errant

    Legatron4, -X- and TheDYVKX like this.
  10. wrstdude

    wrstdude Well-Known Member

    Silva is a FF guy who attempts to dabble in analysis. He thinks Bradford is one of the worst QBs in the league...enough said. He's yet to do anything credible by my count.
  11. Dodgersrf

    Dodgersrf Well-Known Member

    I hope TA isn't like PH.
    I want to see TA on the field on Sundays. Not on the sidelines injured.
  12. bomebadeeda

    bomebadeeda Well-Known Member

    I'll try and kill 2 stones w/ one bird here......

    First off the ground and pound will isolate Austin more often. And even when 'bunched", will enable him more room than the simple spread and match up. And putting him in motion will make it harder to jam him which was a problem last year. Also Schotty has stated Austin has a much better understanding of the offense as of late and "sees" the natural mismatches this offense will give to him.....

    And while the writer of the above "article" doesn't quite see Austin as anything but someone other than Harvin lite.....As shown in the Indy game, given the matchup, the kid can exploit it. And if he's understanding where and how to go better now.....and has a better QB trying to get it to him (rather than Kellen" I'm all effort" Clemens.....and we loved him for it.......) than we should revisit this discussion about the time when you come out w/ the obligitory "I knew he had it all along" article.... (due to come out....late Nov early Dec.....)
    Badfinger, Zaphod and Mojo Ram like this.
  13. TheDYVKX

    TheDYVKX Well-Known Member

    Silva obviously hasn't watched Tavon. Once he started to get the offense down, he made plays nearly every game. He didn't have to think. His skills DID translate. I dont see why he can't continue to make those plays next season, maybe not every game but every 2 or so. Those plays literally change the game, which is a rare ability. If he becomes more of a consistent receiver, which coaches are indicating he will be, he will be extremely dangerous.
    Rambition and Dieter the Brock like this.
  14. Rams and Gators

    Rams and Gators Well-Known Member Pit Boss

    Trivia question:

    Tavon Austin became the 5th player to have 2 rushing plays of 50+ yards and 2 receiving plays of 50+ yards in the same season since 1999, for $250kROD name the other 4 (preferably without cheating but I have no way of checking).
  15. Zaphod

    Zaphod Well-Known Member

    Just to take a wild stab because I'm really bad at these things ... Marshal Faulk would be one?
  16. LACHAMP46

    LACHAMP46 Well-Known Member

    Funny, I always wanted Cordarrelle Patterson. Yep, way before any wr in that draft....then Woods, Hunter...etc. Size speed guys...But Tavon is a Ram now, give him some time, and I love his attitude.
    Percy was a beast in college. He'd take hand-offs from the tailback position & try to break tackles. Tavon isn't like this. Elusiveness is still effective in the pros. Drops don't bother me. Until they become a problem. Hell, Jerry Rice used to drop the ball a bunch. Ike Bruce used to drop the ball at first. Torry dropped it a bunch. Az_Hakeem, I think they got rid of him for that....It's the plays, and him getting open that concern me...Keep him in the slot, moving in bunch formations and he'll be fine...good lil piece I was looking at here...think it was on here somewhere, so forgive me for re-posting this:

  17. theramsruleUK

    theramsruleUK Well-Known Member

    Put all our players down as far as I'm concerned. Just more fuel to the fire baby
  18. Rams and Gators

    Rams and Gators Well-Known Member Pit Boss

    1 down 3 to go.
  19. STLINI

    STLINI New Member

    Who is really wanting Tavon to be a start/stop guy? I see Tavon as a get the ball in his hands on the move, and watch the guy never stop until he gets into the end zone. I love him on crossing patterns, quick slants, swing passes, etc. On plays like that, he simply uses a combination of speed and quickness to elude pretty much anybody on a 1 on 1 situation. And I think Silva is nuts saying he isn't a vertical guy. I'd send him vertical on anybody.

    Too many people get hung up on the "top 10 pick" aspect and therefore knock him because he isn't, and never will be a traditional #1 type WR that is going to catch 10 balls a game and play every snap on the outside. He's a major weapon, that if used properly can do things that not very many, if any guys in this league can do. I see major value in that.

    Yeah, his hands have to be more reliable. And I expect they will be. I attribute that problem last year with just being a rookie and trying to do too much before securing the ball.
    Rambition, rdw and Zaphod like this.
  20. LoyalRam

    LoyalRam Well-Known Member

    I was going to start a thread about my excitement inre Tavon Austin in 2014. In that two game period, he broke open the games, and then got injured. He is a gadget guy to me, who's playmaking ability can totally change the momentum of a game. I wish that he was the permanent KR and PR, seeing what he did last year. the above author is a know nothing
    Rambition and PolarBear like this.