Here's my breakdown of Tavon Austin. I decided to chart him separately from the other WRs because I had to write different parameters into my data collection program to chart everything that Tavon did. If you hit the link at the bottom you can find a few extra charts, such as how often he was covered by a DB/LB, etc. Enjoy. (I've been posting quite a few of these here recently, I just happen to be on position groups relevant to the Dolphins now, there will be periods when I do position groups that I won't post here, thus not cluttering too much)
Adjusting Austin’s Numbers
Everything herein is based on the idea that I adjusted Tavon’s reception and rushing numbers. If you haven’t watched much West Virginia tape or just need a refresher, the offense incorporates a “screen sweep” play. This play involves Smith taking the snap and essentially bats it forward as a receiver crosses in front of him from pre-snap motion. This technically counts as a “screen” and thus a reception, but requires no skill from either the wide receiver or quarterback. Thus, I have adjusted those receptions into rushing plays. Here are the results:
- We can see that Austin ran 28 sweep screens throughout the year. These on average went for 5.8 yards, a respectable average for a rushing play.
- While Austin’s adjusted total receptions and yardage go down, his average catch increases to 13.11 yards from 11.3 yards. The average for this wide receiver class is 14.56 yards, so he’s still below average, but closer than he was before.
- On the whole, this doesn’t decrease his average rush by much, it drops it by .88 yards. Austin’s overall rushing average for the season goes from 8.93 to 8.05. Still well above average for a traditional, first round running back.
- Interestingly, with these adjustments, Tavon has more rushes than receptions. The ratio is 100 rushes to 86 receptions. While this doesn’t make Austin a running back, does he still count as a full fledged wide receiver when he ran more than he received the ball?
Where Did He Catch the Ball?
- Of course, Austin caught a high number of screens. Even after adjusting for those sweep screens, approximately 34% of his receptions were screens. This is higher than any wide receiver in this class.
- Including screens, 78% of his receptions were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. This seems high but is actually lower than Keenan Allen’s 86% within the same zones. The next highest WRs (Patton and Bailey) were in the 70% range for these three combined zones.
- Although low, Austin’s 7% of receptions past 20 yards isn’t the lowest in the class. Keenan Allen only caught 3.33% of his passes past 20 yards and Cordarrelle Patterson only caught 4% past 20 yards. It is, however, still third lowest in the class.
Where Did His Yardage Come From?
Here, I’ve summarized the yardage gained after catching the ball in a certain zone. Thus, when Austin caught the ball in the 1-5 yard zone, on average he caught it 3.15 yards from the line of scrimmage. Then within the 1-5 zone, on average, he had 13 yards after the catch. I have only included the total yardage for screens because I don't think a receiver should be rewarded for reaching the line of scrimmage.
- While not on this chart, Austin averaged 7.3 yards after the catch in all zones. The receiver with the next highest yards after the catch is Stedman Bailey, Austin’s former teammate. That’s an incredibly high number.
- Austin did not catch an above-average amount of passes in the 1-5 yard zone, but he averaged an insane 13 yards after the catch. Is this because when catching these short passes he was matched against college linebackers who couldn’t keep up with him?
- My concern is that Austin had below average YAC in other zones. Average YAC for this class is 5.24, so why wasn’t he able to achieve that in other zones? I worry that faster linebackers and safeties in the NFL will be able to take away his advantage on short passes and limit him in other zones.
- His yardage gained on screens is unusually low. On average, WRs in this class gained 5.8 yards per screen. Austin, despite his unquestioned shiftiness was only able to manage 3.84 yards on screens. This was bad enough for 3rd worst in this class ahead of Justin Hunter and DeAndre Hopkins. Is this due to the fact that defenses were expecting screens from him and thus sitting on them? Something to consider.
Austin’s numbers are interesting. On one hand his yardage after the catch is well above the other wide receivers, as you’d expect. On the other hand, his yardage after the catch is below average in multiple zones on the field. Is he a one trick pony that can only catch 3 yard deep crosses? Can he continue to pull that off in the NFL? Do his lack of deep catches concern you? Those are the questions you have to answer after looking at these statistics.
EDIT: Here's the link so you can see the extra charts: http://secondroundstats.com/2013/02/...akdown-austin/