Yesterday I was reading an article on nil.com of the ten most disappointing players in 2013, this article mostly left me shaking my head, mostly because articles like this never go deep in depth of why the player has been disappointing and mostly just goes off of what the media is saying about the player. This article in particular had both Tavon Austin and Cortland Finnegan on the list. Now Austin and Finnegan have not played up to their expectations, but to call them the most disappointing in 2013 might be going over the top.
5. Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams
A classic pre-draft riser, Austin sparked the imaginations of teams across the NFL with electric NFL Scouting Combine and pro day performances. At one point, a hyperventilating Mike Mayock said Austin “might be the most explosive player I’ve ever seen in my life.” The Rams were in love, and traded up to land the former West Virginia star with the eighth overall pick in April’s draft. Austin hasn’t done much to reward that investment yet, averaging less than seven yards per catch. Either Austin needs to be better or the Rams need to be more imaginative. Maybe both.
Now Tavon Austin certainly hasnt played up to expectations and has yet to really break that big play, but what did people expect, Austin to run into the end zone every time he touched the ball? Much of Austin’s disappointments have to do with special team’s penalties than anything else.
According to Jim Thomas of Saint Louis Today, Austin would have 257 yards worth of punt returns this season with a long of 81 yards and a touchdown, and he would be averaging nearly 10 yards a return. Instead, Austin officially has 57 yards on 17 returns this season, for a 3.4-yard average and a long of 14 yards.
Had all of Austin’s return yards stood, Austin would have the second most return yards in the NFL only behind Dexter McCluster. Austin’s average would be ranked seventh and his longest return would be the third longest this season. Austin has gone from front runner to make the Pro Bowl to season “disappointment”.
On offense Austin has not made much of an impact, however Schottenheimer certainly hasnt used Austin to the best of his abilities. Austin hasnt been able to gain much separation, hasnt made a lot of plays after the catch, and leads the NFL in dropped passes.
Austin just hasnt been called the most disappointing among all players in 2013, but has also been called one of the most disappointing rookies in 2013 by Gil Brandt.
Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams
Austin showed rare ability to create at the college level. I thought this would translate into big plays in the pros, but the West Virginia product has failed to make much of a mark, totaling just 23 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns in five games. I think the tackling skills and speed of NFL linebackers make it difficult for a guy like Austin to break away in the open field, and he doesn’t seem to get separation on his routes. I still like this player, but he has not matched the excitement that accompanied his entry to the league. His struggles encapsulate the difficulty of transitioning from college to the NFL, especially at his size (5-foot-8 1/2, 174 pounds). I think the eighth overall pick would actually go somewhere in the second round today.
To call Tavon Austin one of the most disappointing players of 2013 only five games into his rookie season is a bit unfair to say the least considering he had no expectations coming in anyway. Did we expect more from him? Yes we did, but Austin is still a young player learning and adapting to the NFL level. Austin will get things figure out sooner or later, it may just take a little more time than we expected.
8. Cortland Finnegan, St. Louis Rams
Bad contract alert! Finnegan was being toasted with regularity this season before heading to the sideline with a thigh injury. Pro Football Focus ranks Finnegan as the league’s worst cornerback through Week 5. Perhaps the injury explains the poor play, but Finnegan has been in regression since last season.
This is the one thing about the article that I did agree with, Cortland Finnegan has not played up to his expectations this season. Finnegan has constantly gotten beaten which could be due to his injury, but it could also be due to the new defensive coordinator. Although Finnegan hasnt seemed like the same player at all this season, he just doesnt seem to have that fire or attitude that has made him the player that he is. Finnegan certainly isnt the only player on defense who is underperforming however. Finnegan is on the tail end of his career, but hopefully he can turn things around in the second half of the season.
This article made some good points, but in the list in general I thought it was a pretty unfair list. Neither Kaepernick nor Schaub were on this list, not to mention other players who certainly deserve t be on the list but are just hyped up by the media. Let us know what you think about the list in the comment section below!