November 17, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receivers Tavon Austin (1) and Stedman Bailey (3) gesture as they await a kick-off from the Oklahoma Sooners during the first quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. The Oklahoma Sooners won 50-49. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Iowa State Cyclones vs. West Virginia Mountaineers NFL Draft Prospect Watch


Iowa State is trying to knock West Virginia to 5-6 and lose bowl eligibility while improving their own record to 7-5 going into bowl season. The Cyclones had a solid start to the season but have been knocked back a few times in the second half of the season, losing star linebacker Jake Knott in the process.

This game features one of the top prospects in the entire nation in quarterback Geno Smith, who is a near lock to be the first quarterback selected in April. He is throwing to two of the best receivers in the country in Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, who are both small but pack a huge punch in terms of their big play ability.

Senior linebacker A.J. Klein is the Cyclones’ leading tackler, and he is a beast in the middle and a playmaker for their defensive unit. He and the ISU defense have a tall task ahead of them today in trying to keep the West Virginia offense at bay.

Here are our top prospect pages for both the Cyclones and the Mountaineers:

Iowa State Cyclones

West Virginia Mountaineers

Here is a snippet from our West Virginia team outlook:

1 Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver, Senior 5’9″ 176 pounds

Quick, shifty, jack-of-all-trades wide receiver prospect who can do so many things to help your football team. Really, he reminds me a lot of a DeSean Jackson type of receiver. He is so fast and so elusive in the open field, but he isn’t very big so he likely won’t be a first round pick. At the next level, that really won’t matter. He is going to make an impact at the next level if he can stay healthy. When you watch him play, he reaches second and third gear at an incredible rate. When this guy hits the open field, he is nearly impossible to track down. He looks like a pinball moving around on the football field. As a junior, he had a team-leading 101 receptions for 1,186 yards and eight touchdowns, but he also added over 100 yards rushing with a touchdown on the ground, and 938 kick return yards with two more touchdowns there. He averaged an astounding 26 yards per kick return. For as compact as he is, he is actually really strong and has great balance near the sidelines. Strangely, he has had some problems fielding punts, but if he ever figures that out, he could be extremely dangerous there as well. Basically, this is a player you want to get the ball in open space as much as possible. He has so many skills in the open field, and he has great breakaway speed.

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Tags: Football Iowa State Cyclones NFL Draft West Virginia Mountaineers