2011 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina

No matter what players NFL teams select during the draft they are taking a risk each and every time. Despite all the homework they do, no team is ever 100 percent sure of what they are actually getting. Some players, though, are obviously bigger risks than others.

Such is the case with the subject of today's 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile. North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin, a 6-foot-3, 310-pound behemoth, appears to be one of those players for whom the "high risk, high reward" label was invented.

Read about Austin and you come across phrases like these:

  • "first-round talent."
  • Can be "as good as he wants to be."
  • "Impressive combination of power, coordination and explosion."

Then there are these:

  • "Seldom gives his best effort."
  • "Immature kid."
  • "Questionable motivation and competitiveness."

Austin missed the 2010 season after being ruled ineligible due to his involvement with an agent. Yet, as Wes Bunting of the National Football Post says below "his natural God-given ability will keep him in the league and give him plenty of second chances."

Scouting reports after the jump.

Marvin Austin
DT, North Carolina
6-foot-3, 310 pounds
Projection: Round 2 or 3

Scouting Reports

From Sideline Scouting:

Positives: Good size... Carries his weight well... Athletic... Agile... Can be disruptive... Explosive first step... Can get off the ball quickly... Very strong upper body, put of 38 reps of 225 lbs. at the combine... Uses his hands well... Flashes good power... Pushes the pocket... Can collapse the pocket... Good penetrate... Can knock back offensive linemen with strong hand punch... Solid arsenal of moves... Good bull rush and spin move... Good balance... Very solid versus the run... Reasonably stout... Good lower body strength and anchor... Holds his ground well... Very solid lateral mobility... Can make plays all along the line of scrimmage... Good range... Closes on the ball quickly... Selected All-ACC second team for the 2009 season... Appears to be in great shape despite not playing in 2010... Schematic versatility, fits as a 4-3 UT or 3-4 LDE.

Negatives: Inconsistent... Takes a few too many plays off... Can be a non-factor for long stretches of a game... Questionable motivation and competitiveness... Seldom gives his best effort... Has been called immature... Did not start two games in 2009 (coach's decision)... Will quit once engaged... Plays too high... Can be slow to locate the ball... Needed to play this season and show better consistency and a better motor to work his way into mid-first round discussion... A bit of a boom or bust prospect... Was suspended for the 2010 season for NCAA rules violation... Character concerns, how much will his involvement with an agent hurt his draft stock?

From National Football Post:

Possesses an impressive combination of power, coordination and explosion for such a big guy and has the ability to be sudden on contact and violent when asked to slip blocks vs. the pass. Displays a good first step, can suddenly change directions and at times uses his hands well to keep clean before surging up the field. However, isn't the most aware of defenders getting off the football on time and doesn't do a good job getting his hands up initially on contact. Too often waits until he is engaged to start to work himself free and relies more so on his lower body strength and lateral quickness to disengage than actually trying to control blocks with his hands.

Is an immature kid who is at the center of the North Carolina/agent scandal and really drew a lot of negative attention from outsiders/scouts during his time on Twitter.

Impression: There is no denying that the overall talent and skill set is there for him to be as good as he wants to be in the NFL. However, I worry about his passion, willingness to become better and overall maturity level going forward. There is no way I would spend a first-round pick on the guy at this stage and I don't think he will ever become the player many suspect. But, his natural God-given ability will keep him in the league and give him plenty of second chances.

From NFL.com:

Strengths:
Austin has great size and speed for the position. Explodes off the ball and shows great foot quickness. Possesses superb lateral agility and the range to make plays outside the tackle box. Strong player with a thick lower half that flashes a powerful bull rush to collapse the pocket.

Weaknesses:
Plays too high and struggles to fend off double teams. Takes too long to locate the ball and can be engulfed by down blocks. Does not have an extensive repertoire of pass rushing moves. Will take plays off and has a questionable work ethic. Missed entire 2010 season after being deemed ineligible.

Overview:
Austin has first-round talent, but he did not play football last season and there are concerns about his character and work ethic. He appears to be a prototypical 3-technique defensive tackle, as he is a big boy with outstanding athleticism. He has great feet and the lateral agility to move quickly down the line and make tackles on the edge. He uses his quick heavy hands to shed blocks and has the closing burst to make plays in the backfield. Austin's off the field issues may prevent him from being a first round pick, but he could be a major steal in round two.

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