That’s stupid fast, and that’s extremely important for Tavon Austin. His 40-time, later “lowered” to 4.34 seconds, proves his straight-ahead speed. Everyone knew he was quick and could dart, much the same as everyone knew he was “fast,” but this puts a label on his speed. Sure, he can angle and cut and weave, but it’s hard to get to the sideline in the NFL. Now we know know he can fly if he has to go forward.
Later adjusted to a 4.59, that was good for Geno, too. I heard form a handful of different NFL and college people Sunday and their opinion was that Geno gave more and better answers with that run and with his workout than he did in his media session — and that went swimmingly, too.
“I’ve played in three different systems in college,” Smith said during his Friday scouting combine media session. “That’s something I’ve always been capable of. I think I have the skill set to fit in any offense. … But I’m athletic enough to run that (read-option) style of offense.
“Whatever it takes to put my team in the best position to win games, that’s what I’ll do.”
You knew that read-option stuff would come up because that is the new fashion in the NFL. And you knew Geno’s response would be interesting because he’s been so adamant about his preferences, but also his ability and his potential.
Yet there was going to be this see saw at play, too. Can Geno run? Why wouldn’t he run? Is he against it? Was he instructed not to do it?
It would seem pretty clear now he can move. He’s four hundredths of a second off of what Russ Wilson did last year and what Colin Kaepernick did two years ago.
So that answers that question, but it also answers the queries about why he would not run — and that was definitely a curiosity. You’d have to imagine now he was operating within the scheme, and that does seem to be his pro potential. He’ll move when the play breaks down and chunk up yardage, or else.
He’s not the best runner, certainly not Wilson or Kaepernick, but he is good in the pocket and he can move when compelled. Those read-options create pockets if the defensive ends are conflicted. If a passer is made to run, Geno can stride and he can strike.
You have to wonder if he opened doors that were possibly closed before. Is Andy Reid smitten? Might he adapt a little to the new wave if he drafts Geno? Is Chip Kelly intrigued and wondering if he’ll have to stray too far from what he did in college now that he’s in the NFL.
I don’t have answers, but it’s interesting what one number does.
And that leads to this: What did Austin do with the entirety of his performance?
In one regard, Geno is in a prime position because it is not a good crop of quarterbacks. Geno’s a good, though not exceptional athlete, but he was the best performer at the combine. There are teams who need and want a quarterback. Those are good breaks.
Yet Tavon is coming on at a time when NFL teams desire that shifty play-maker in the slot who, oh, by the way, can affect the game on special teams. The NFL rules let offenses feast on short, underneath routes and many teams can make stars out of plays-in-space guys.
There are but a few free agents out there in Wes Welker and Danny Amendola, Donnie Avery and Greg Jennings. The Vikings seen intent on trading Percy Harvin and if there’s interest in him, it will sustain in Austin for those who lose out in the pursuit of Harvin, if that happens.Thisis all good for Tavon.
I think, at the same time, you see teams cooling off on this crop of quarterbacks because they don’t identify a franchise player or a career All-Pro. There is value in later rounds, or later selections in the first round. The risk and the compensation is much lower and the rewards are the same.
So now I wonder if Tavon goes before Geno.