While the rivalry between West Virginia and Pittsburgh is quite a fierce one in college football, that shouldn’t stop the Pittsburgh Steelers from trying to acquire Tavon Austin to fill in their dwindling receiving core, while also thinking about filling in their need for a linebacker with Jarvis Jones coming out of Georgia.
In terms of interest and not pure speculation, Austin is the man the Steelers want. He’s considered by many to be the premier offensive playmaker in this draft after four seasons with the Mountaineers, being extremely productive over his last two, catching 215 passes for 2475 yards and 20 touchdowns. Austin is kind of small, but has a unique blend of speed, quickness and awareness on how to create space in the open field, while being able to operate from the backfield or the slot position.
The problem? The Steelers have the 17th pick, and there’s a very good chance Austin goes before that. Most Mock drafts have him being picked between the 10th and 15th picks. Next up on their list is one of these players who was great in College, but some are afraid that the injury worries might come true, not to mention his disappointing workouts.
Jarvis Jones was one of the best defensive players in the nation over the last couple of years, but a spinal problem has a lot of people concerned about his ability to succeed in the NFL, let alone be as dominant as he was in College. He’s not a big guy, but players like him usually thrive in the system the Steelers run with their 3-4 defense, providing an excellent breeding ground for pass-rushing outside linebackers, like James Harrison who was recently released.
Tavon Austin is the player they want, but possibly can’t have. A healthy Jarvis Jones makes sense, maybe even more than Austin, but it’s a matter of the Steelers willing to take that risk.