2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Austin Pettis
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Boise St. Broncos. You know, the mid-major program that has lost just five games since 2007.
Austin Pettis, a relatively unheralded three-star wide receiver recruit out of Anaheim, California, in 2007, was a major factor in the Broncos’ success.
He finished his four-year collegiate career with a grand total of 229 catches for 2,838 yards and 41 touchdowns.
Player Name: Austin Pettis
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Boise State
Hand: 9 3/4
Pettis has solid size for an NFL wide receiver at 6’3″, and is extremely reliable as a pass catcher. He has great hands, and has the ability to make catches in heavy traffic. He has decent speed for a player his size, and can work effectively against press coverage. He’s not afraid to go over the middle, where he does most of his damage. Pettis has very good body control, and is a very effective tracking the ball in the air. His size, hands and football IQ make him especially dangerous inside the red zone, as evidenced by his 41 touchdowns at Boise State. Pettis knows how to use his frame in a jump ball situation. He was able to develop a reputation as a strong leader for the Broncos, and is passionate about the game. Durability isn’t a question, as he suffered just one injury in college (a fractured leg in 2009), from which he was able to make a quick recovery.
Pettis doesn’t have extraordinary speed, and, as a result, isn’t much of a big play threat at the next level. He’s a nice possession receiver, but doesn’t have the elusiveness required to make many tacklers miss. He lacks much lateral quickness, and could certainly stand to improve his route running, which is fairly sloppy at times. He likely won’t be outrunning many cornerbacks in the NFL, and will need to rely on his size and physical tools in order to be effective as a playmaker. Because he played in the WAC, there are questions about the quality of his competition throughout the years. He’ll probably be a role player as a pro, rather than a game-changing superstar.
Pettis isn’t as highly touted as teammate Titus Young, but he can help his draft stock with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl. His rare combination of size and good hands will be intriguing to NFL scouts, and that will improve his chances of being taken fairly early on. Because he doesn’t do much to stand out above the rest of the receiving prospects, he seems like a player likely to be taken anywhere from the late second round to the fourth round of the draft.
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