Today begins a potentially lengthy series in which I plan to introduce you, the Seahawks fan, to the players that you know the least about. Join me on this fun and educational journey over the next few weeks. If looking into fringe roster players in depth just isn’t your thing, I understand, but you are missing out. I can almost guarantee one of the guys I highlight in this series will make the team and you will feel foolish for not being ahead of the curve. Today the spotlight shines on wide receiver Matt Austin.
Age: 24 (25 in July)
Weight: 202 lbs.
Method of Acquisition: Undrafted Free Agent 2013
Years Pro: R
40 yard dash time: 4.50 seconds
Vertical: 33 ½ inches
NCAA career stats: 26 games played, 83 receptions, 1253 yards, 15.1 yds/rec, 11 touchdowns
Fun Fact: Not only was Austin teammates with Robert Turbin and Bobby Wagner at Utah State, he was also teammates with Bruce Irvin in junior college.
Austin is a big, strong receiver with respectable athleticism. His 40 time was a surprise to many and helped assuage fears that he doesn’t have the speed to be a receiver in the NFL. His vertical leap is rather unimpressive and his extensive injury history (he was granted a 6th year of eligibility by the NCAA due to two season ending injuries) is concerning. That said, Austin supposedly has great hands and can be a reliable target.
Chances of Making the Team
Very slim, but not impossible. The Seahawks are likely to carry five or six wide receivers this year and you can bank on Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin making the squad so that leaves one or two spots to be won. However, 4th round draft pick Chris Harper is a near lock for one of those spots. If the Seahawks keep only five receivers then Austin is toast. If the team keeps six, though, he will have a chance to battle for the last spot with Charly Martin, Phil Bates, Jermaine Kearse and whoever else the Seahawks might pick up on waivers. Also, Austin figures to be a candidate for the practice squad if he impresses. Arbitrarily, I’ll give Austin a 4% chance of making the team and 29% chance to make the practice squad.
NOTE: When I say Bi-weekly I mean the second definition here, as in twice a week (maybe more if you’re lucky). I know everyone was panicking at the prospect of not being able to read up on an obscure Seahawk for another two weeks.