2022 DFF Draft Coverage: Calvin Austin III

Calvin Austin III | Memphis 5’8” 170 lbs.| 03/24/1999 (Age 23)

Calvin Austin III was drafted 138th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers, becoming the 20th wide receiver and 138th overall player in the 2022 NFL Draft.


 Year  Games Played   Receptions   Yards   Yards/Catch   TDs 
 2018 (FR)  4  2  24  12.0  0
 2019 (SO)  9  17  315  18.5  3
 2020 (JR)    11  63  1,053  16.7  11
 2021 (SR)  12  74  1,149  15.5  8

Austin III walked on the Memphis football team as a track star. He didn’t pop until the 2020 season when he produced 63 receptions for 1,053 yards. He also hauled in the sixth-most touchdown receptions in all FBS with 11. Austin III returned a punt for a touchdown that season as well. He followed the impressive 2020 season with another 1,000-plus yard campaign. In 12 games played, the speedy receiver hauled in 74 receptions for 1,149 yards and eight touchdowns. He finished fourth in the ACC with a 22.3 percent deep-target rate, earning first-team all-conference notice. 


Rare speed with loose hips to elude coverages. Quick twitchy feet and shows fluidity in his route-running abilities. Impressive change of speed ability, as he cuts back to the ball at a rapid rate on deep comeback routes. Produced back-to-back 1,000-plus yard seasons. Displays potential as a return specialist. 


Lacks physicality as he gets knocked off his route path too often. Easy to take down, and he telegraphs his moves and cuts. Doesn’t win a ton of 50/50 balls. Has a small frame and is undersized for a receiver. 


Austin III measured in at the NFL combine at 5’8” and 170 lbs. Which equates to a BMI of 25.9. He was one of the fastest receivers at the combine, as he posted a lightning-quick 4.32 40-yard dash (99th percentile), equating to a 90.9-speed score (39th percentile). Austin III also displayed a solid 133.8 burst score (95th percentile), an agility score of 107.2 (96th percentile), a catch radius of 10.1 (75th percentile), and a college dominator of 32.3 percent (59th). 

Austin III displays elite speed, as he finished third fastest amongst receivers in the 40-yard dash and first in the short shuttle (4.07 seconds). The speedy receiver also possesses elite leaping abilities, as he finished third in the vertical jump (39”) and second in the broad jump (135”). Some major red flags with Austin III are his size and strength. He did not participate in any strength drills, and his 30” wingspan is the fifth-smallest amongst the 40 receivers who participated at the combine. 


Rapid Reaction to Draft Capital: Excellent

Rapid Reaction to Landing Spot: Fair

Austin III was selected with the 138th-overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Kenny Pickett gets another receiver out of the draft, pairing Austin III with George Pickens in a wide receiver room led by Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. 


Austin III should serve as a WR4/5 for his new team. He brings speed and big-playmaking abilities, but he may not see much fantasy production early on in his career. He’s still worth targeting late in your rookie drafts and dynasty start-ups, but he shouldn’t be touched in redraft unless injuries get the best of the receivers ahead of him on the depth chart. The twitchy receiver has a bright future, but he may be a late blossom player. 

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