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Thread: A Metrics Breakdown of Tavon Austin

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    A Metrics Breakdown of Tavon Austin

    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.



    Overall


    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/
    Last edited by NUGap; 02-14-2013 at 04:28 AM.
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    I like Austin. I don't think there's a team in the league that would just say "No thanks" to his skill set.

    But I don't like him at all for where he's being projected. With the quality in the 2nd Round, I can't go higher than a 3rd. I also don't see him as a great fit for Miami.
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    Inclined to look at the low screen output as anomalous given his success on the 28 sweep screens and his 72 run plays.

    I personally would be more inclined to include run plays, especially ones not taken from a tailback position, as "screens" rather than starting to pick some screens out of the receiving data. A screen is a very high percentage play, essentially a run play.

    If I'm understanding you right he gained 96 yards on 25 catches on screens, 162 yards on 28 catches on sweep screens, and had 643 yards on 72 runs. Put that all together and you've got a 7.2 yard average in situations where the bulk of the play involves Tavon Austin running with the football in his hands. Not quite Cordarrelle Patterson's 12 yard average doing the same (including runs)...and not quite Stedman Bailey's 8 yard average...but still quite good.
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    CK,
    Seems like here and the twitter world are quite on stedman bailey. If we can sign Jennings and keep hartline at 5mil/yr, its a no-brainer to snag a S or DE in round 1 then snag Bailey and a TE in round two right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckparrothead View Post
    Inclined to look at the low screen output as anomalous given his success on the 28 sweep screens and his 72 run plays.

    I personally would be more inclined to include run plays, especially ones not taken from a tailback position, as "screens" rather than starting to pick some screens out of the receiving data. A screen is a very high percentage play, essentially a run play.

    If I'm understanding you right he gained 96 yards on 25 catches on screens, 162 yards on 28 catches on sweep screens, and had 643 yards on 72 runs. Put that all together and you've got a 7.2 yard average in situations where the bulk of the play involves Tavon Austin running with the football in his hands. Not quite Cordarrelle Patterson's 12 yard average doing the same (including runs)...and not quite Stedman Bailey's 8 yard average...but still quite good.
    That's fair. My problem is that on average between last year's QBs, screens were completed on average 88.5% of the time, versus this play which is a 100% play, unless you screw up something drastic. That's why I was more inclined to add these sweeps to screens and not vice versa.

    I do like the idea of "ball in hand" plays. Excluding the screen sweeps, the ratio of types of runs was 5.55% end arounds to 94.45%. That is, he only ran 4 sweeps that were officially considered rushes. He averaged around 4.5 yards on these, but small sample size and everything. That's not really enough to make a dent in his screen game. Interestingly, the rest of his other rushes I either have as him lined up in the pistol behind Smith or lined up next to Smith in the pistol (mostly only the Syracuse game). I don't have any other types of runs charted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NUGap View Post
    That's fair. My problem is that on average between last year's QBs, screens were completed on average 88.5% of the time, versus this play which is a 100% play, unless you screw up something drastic. That's why I was more inclined to add these sweeps to screens and not vice versa.
    Yes but viewed another way, 11.5% of screens end with 0 yardage. Whereas, how many fly sweeps and run plays gain negative yardage?

    I do like the idea of "ball in hand" plays. Excluding the screen sweeps, the ratio of types of runs was 5.55% end arounds to 94.45%. That is, he only ran 4 sweeps that were officially considered rushes. He averaged around 4.5 yards on these, but small sample size and everything. That's not really enough to make a dent in his screen game. Interestingly, the rest of his other rushes I either have as him lined up in the pistol behind Smith or lined up next to Smith in the pistol (mostly only the Syracuse game). I don't have any other types of runs charted.
    If I'm inclined to pick anything out of the data it would be runs from the backfield.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckparrothead View Post
    Yes but viewed another way, 11.5% of screens end with 0 yardage. Whereas, how many fly sweeps and run plays gain negative yardage?



    If I'm inclined to pick anything out of the data it would be runs from the backfield.
    Since I don't know what we're talking about counting anymore, here's a comparison of adjusted and normal. A time when screens were screens and runs were runs. Austin Adj is what I have up in the post, Austin Norm is where the screen sweeps count as real screens.

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    Tavon will be a great playmaker
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    Austin seems like a luxury pick type of guy that would excel in a situation like NO or NE for example where there is a very good offensive staff and a few playmakers already in place to take attention away from a guy like Austin who needs the ball in space. I don't think he would work out here unless we can pick up a few more playmakers to put around him immediately. I also wouldn't spend a top 60 pick on him, he just reminds me of Dexter Mcluster, nice player to have but nothing special.

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