The hottest prospect in the 2013 draft has been on a meteoric climb up the charts since putting on a spectacular showing at the NFL Scouting Combine. Austin's 4.34 speed (in the 40-yard dash) and remarkable change-of-direction quickness (4.01 short shuttle) complemented an impressive résumé tape that showcased his versatility as a receiver/running back/returner at West Virginia. This combination of skills, playmaking and explosiveness has fostered comparisons to Percy Harvin and DeSean Jackson from coaches and scouts around the league.
Now, I definitely see the similarities in playing styles, but neither Harvin nor Jackson has made a significant impact as a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. (Harvin has never posted a 1,000-yard season, while Jackson has only surpassed the mark twice in five years.) And there haven't been many 5-foot-8, 174-pound receivers who have taken the league by storm. That's why I can't fully endorse Austin's rise as a potential top-10 pick, despite his ability to score touchdowns from anywhere on the field. The NFL remains a big man's game, and it's hard for a diminutive pass catcher to function as a legitimate No. 1 receiver in the league. I believe Austin can be an explosive complementary player, but you don't take role players early in the draft.