The biggest knock on New York Jets coach Rex Ryan over the course of his coaching tenure has been a lack of imagination on the offensive side of the football. Whether actual fact or simply perceived by a frustrated fan base forced to watch QB Mark Sanchez flounder without wideout Santonio Holmes (who tore his ACL last year), fans do not believe Ryan has what it takes to get the job done with the offense.
But former West Virginia star and one of the fastest men in the draft, Tavon Austin, does believe. He told Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger that New York Jets coach Rex Ryan showed particular interest in him and that he believes he could bring a new dimension to the Big Apple.
“(Ryan) said he had a plan for me. I talked to the offensive coordinator (Marty Mornhinweg), and they said they like players like me who can bring big-play ability there,” Austin told the Newark Star-Ledger on Thursday.
With both the No. 9- and 13-overall selections in this year’s draft, the Jets have a lot of needs and two high draft picks to make something happen. Austin looks like the best playmaker in this years class of potential draftees and thus could be an ideal fit for the Jets.
That is, of course, if Ryan wasn’t blowing smoke up Austin’s rear end. The former Mountaineer burner understands that this time of year results in a lot of misdirection on the part of NFL front offices and coaching staffs. The Jets could very easily be looking at a defensive end or outside linebacker such as LSU’s Barkevious Mingo or BYU’s Ziggy Ansah.
For Austin’s part, the young man is simply waiting for his name to be called.
“I’m just glad at the right time that my name’s moving up,” Austin said Wednesday. “But at the end of the day, it’s about the GMs and the coaches. A lot of these analysts can say where I can go at, but sometimes nobody has a clue, so I’ll just wait till tomorrow and see who picks my name and go from there.”
Austin is a bit smaller at 5-foot-8 and 173 pounds. Could Ryan properly utilize a player with all the speed in the world, but who might have trouble getting open against bigger cornerbacks?
We will find out first in prime time at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday night, and then for real when the season kicks off this fall.