you can read all the details on the first Shutdown 40 here. For the second Shutdown 40, players 41-80, we have the advantage of combine performances and that much more evaluation material.
Over the next few weeks, we'll also be adding Pro Day data when relevant. But we're always going mostly on game tape; the proper evaluation formula seems to be about 80 percent tape, 20 percent Senior Bowl/combine/Pro Day. If you see what you expect in drills, you go back to the tape to confirm. If what you see in drills surprises you in a positive or negative sense, you go back to the tape to catch where the anomalies may be.
Very effective in college when looping outside and around — this could still be effective against NFL right tackles, though I wonder if he's quick enough to get up to speed to blast through quality left tackles at the next level. Austin's gap discipline could be better, though it's partially the result of a scheme that had him angling to find any open gap right off the snap.
Cons: Austin is not a precise form tackler; it seems at times that he's almost surprised by the speed with which he gets to the ballcarrier, and he has to pause to get his technique together. You see him bumping into opposing players (and his own teammates) trying to make tackles at times — he doesn't really have an eagle eye when it comes to that. Sometimes, that disruptive tendency (which is a positive) will have him lurching out of plays and easily blocked out, especially on run plays when the back switched direction.
Slightly less effective as a three-tech shading or in a 40 front — while he loves to split gaps, he's not as quick in those short areas as your typical NFL three-tech would be. Lateral speed is average at best.
Conclusion: Should Marvin Austin have lost an entire season for taking a few agent-subsidized trips when the UNC football program made millions of dollars in revenue on the backs of Austin and his teammates for years? That's a debate for another time, but I'll put it in this context. Based on my own beliefs, I wouldn't specifically ding a player for "character issues" if his main violation was to skirt the rules and pick up a few extra perks in a system that seems impossibly unfair.
As to the football stuff … there's absolutely no question that Austin could have used that extra year. He is a phenomenally gifted athlete who plays all over the place (and not in a good way). He's not always assignment-correct, he plays too high at times and loses the power he has at the line, his love for the splash play can have him out of position, and his tackling technique leaves a lot to be desired. But those are coaching points that could be negated (if not eradicated) over time, and I was very impressed with Austin's honesty at the combine podium, and the show he put on during his workouts. This is going to be someone's risky pick, but Austin could pay off to an extreme degree with the right kind of coaching and environment.
NFL Comparison: Tank Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals
More Second Shutdown 40
#41 — Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia | #42 — Muhammad Wilkerson, DT/DE, Temple | #43 — Aaron Williams, DB, Texas | #44 — Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech | #45 — Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA | #46 — Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois | #47 — D.J. Williams, TE, Arkansas
- Marvin Austin