Tavon Austin Sets Pace At Combine

INDIANAPOLIS — During his media session earlier this week, West Virginia’s Tavon Austin said he was hoping to run under a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash.

Needless to say, he’s probably pretty happy right about now.

Austin (5-8, 174) blazed an unofficial 4.25 Sunday morning at the NFL Combine, eliminating any doubt about whether he’d be a first-round pick.

Update: The official time was 4.34.

Teams looking for versatile playmakers will have Austin at the top of their lists. Last year, he caught 111 balls for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also ran 73 times for 652 yards and three scores. And Ausitn scored twice on punt and kickoff returns.

“A lot of teams are looking for a guy who can do multiple things on the football field,” Austin said. “I think I’m that guy.”

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com recently likened Austin’s skills to Darren Sproles, Percy Harvin and DeSean Jackson. Austin, meanwhile, said he looks up to a different guy.

Wes Welker, that’s the No. 1 guy,” he said. “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.”

As for his size, Austin said he he hasn’t been hurt in eight years.

In terms of the Eagles’ interest, the key is where Austin is selected. Draft analysts project him to go in the second half of the first round. The Birds, of course, have the fourth pick and the 35th pick (second round). There’s no doubt that Chip Kelly would find Austin’s skill set appealing, but the Eagles would likely have to trade (one way or another) to pick him.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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