The NFL 2013 season has begun, in a sense, with the NFL combine going on this weekend. The New England Patriots have a few holes to fill in order to have another Super Bowl campaign, and one of the main ones will be the inevitable void left by Wes Welker, as it looks more and more likely he'll be hitting Free Agency.
And big Wes Welker fan Tavon Austin, predicted to be drafted late in the 1st round (where the Patriots sit with the 29th pick), could be the man to fill it. And it's his name on most people's lips after clocking in the second quickest time of any Wide Receiver.
CJ2K can sleep easy. Official 40 times: 4.27 for Goodwin, 4.34 for Austin on.nfl.com/Tracker #NFLCombineSo, does this make you think he's a good fit for the Patriots? In my view, it shouldn't change a thing. During an NFL game, I don't need a receiver to just run 40 yards and stop. I need him to be able to get free in coverage, catch passes and then make a play afterwards. Now, I know stuff they test at the combine assesses how well they can do all these things, but doing a cone drill is a little different to facing Darrelle Revis.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 24, 2013
Saw Michael Irvin after 40s, told him I wouldn't have drafted him No. 11 if he had to do all this stuff. He laughed, said, "You're right."
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) February 24, 2013
This pretty much sums up why I hate the combine. So many players have fell, and so many have risen, undeservedly, due to the combine. I can think of one example off the top of my head, in Tom Brady.
But onto Austin anyway. Honestly, all I have seen of him is courtesy of YouTube videos, and I'm going on what people have said about him. The kid looks good, there's no denying, and he can have an impact immediately as a slot receiver and a returner.
|Justin Hunter at 6'4'' could be the deep threat |
the Pats are missing
And in terms of slot receivers, and guys underneath, aren't Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, two huge guys with good speed, good enough to hit in the slot for 7-10 yards? Brandon Lloyd also showed he could do the underneath stuff well.
So we could draft Tavon Austin in the first round, and get another small slot receiver. Or, we could go get a Randy Moss in Free Agency (Mike Wallace) or in the draft (perhaps Terrance Williams or Justin Hunter?).
Let us know what you think in the comments below, or on Twitter @PatriotsLife and @BrendanAnnely