New England Patriots Draft Prospects: Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey


Two West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver could be on the New England Patriots radar in the 2013 NFL Draft, and here are some updates regarding Tavon Austin and the less-heralded but still talented Stedman Bailey.

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Tavon Austin has a high amount of respect for Wes Welker, and some fans are speculating that Austin could be Welker’s replacement in New England in the slot if the Pats and Welker cannot come to a deal. Austin isn’t as strong or as good of a pass-catcher as Welker, but he is more explosive, agile, and has more than adequate toughness, speed, and hands.

This is what Austin had to say about Welker, “Wes Welker, that’s the No. 1 guy. I see how Wes does it, I watch a lot of tape of him, and I think I move a little quicker and faster than Wes, so if he can do it, I know I can do it to.”

He also called himself the best all-around player in the draft, which is something that I don’t think anybody buys even if he is a very good wideout.

“If we all lined up and raced I think I’d come out on top but I’m not really a 40 type of guy. I’m a game type of guy,” Austin says. “A lot of teams are looking for the type of player who can do multiple things on the field, and I think I can be that guy.

“I think I’m the all-around best player in the draft.”

Stedman Bailey was the other favorite target of Geno Smith’s, and the top-rated QB connected for 114 receptions with both receivers this apiece. Bailey is one of the most consistent receivers in this class, and he’s getting a bit underrated. I know Doug Kyed of NESN (a guy I respect a lot, especially when it comes to draft evaluations) is high on Bailey, and he was a very good move-the-chains guy for Geno at West Virginia.

According to Kevin Weidl, Bailey also has “big hands” and “long arms” which is certainly a great combination. He checked in at 5’10 and 1/4 inches and 193 pounds at the Combine.

In other 2013 NFL Draft news, Alabama center Barrett Jones is recovering from surgery that repaired his Lisfranc and will be questionable for OTAs- still ahead of where he was previously expected. This news comes to us from CBS Sports.