Jacksonville Jaguars: What kind of impact can Tavon Austin have?

Wide receiver Tavon Austin #16 against the Los Angeles Rams (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Wide receiver Tavon Austin #16 against the Los Angeles Rams (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t shied away from acquired wide receivers this offseason. They signed Marvin Jones Jr., Jamal Agnew, and Phillip Dorsett in free agency. They later drafted Jalen Camp and then locked up Pharoh Brown and Laquon Treadwell. They didn’t stop there though and they have also added former first-round pick Tavon Austin.

The team announced that they have signed Austin, the eighth overall pick in 2013’s draft. When the then-St. Louis Rams drafted him, it looked like they had acquired a playmaker. Instead, they got a role player that didn’t do much over his five-year stint with them. The West Virginia product joined the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 but it was much of the same. During his two-year stint with Big D, he played 21 games but made no starts.

Austin spent the 2020 season with the Green Bay Packers, where he appeared in four games and hauled in five passes for 20 yards. Over his eight-year career, he’s played 100 games with 50 starts, logging 220 receptions for 2,026 yards and 15 touchdowns. He’s also returned 188 punts for 1,480 yards and three trips to the end zone.

What can the Jacksonville Jaguars expect from Tavon Austin?

Not much. This looks like a depth move by the Jags, as there isn’t probably room for Austin on the roster. The Jaguars wide receiver corps is in good shape ahead of the 2021 NFL regular season. Also, Jamal Agnew and Pharaoh Cooper have been handling return duties. The Jaguars could keep Austin on speed dial if either one has to miss time, but he doesn’t add much as a receiver or a returner at this point of his career and will have a tough time making the 53-man roster.

2013 featured one of the worst draft classes in recent years and Austin was part of it. You could argue that then-Rams head coach Jeff Fisher didn’t know how to use him correctly. After all, his ultra-conservative offense held many players back, including running back Todd Gurley, who went on to become the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2017.

Those that followed Austin’s electrifying college career with the Mountaineers may have thought that he would benefit from a change of scenery. Nevertheless, he didn’t fare much better in Dallas and Green Bay, so maybe he’s simply not good enough.

The Jacksonville Jaguars still want to take a look at Austin. While his addition might not amount to much, it doesn’t hurt to kick the tires on him.

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