I'd like to take a quick look into the USC TE David Ausberry. It's Thursday, and although I have some editing to take care of, I'd thought I would write a post on a player whom I have not looked into very much since we drafted him. I have read reports on him from camp, listened to one interview, and there goes my knowledge on the guy. When we drafted him, there was virtually no footage of him. I will present you two videos of Ausberry strait from youtube, and I will talk about each video. What better way to spend the slowest part of the off-season?
We haven't seen much of Ausberry since he has been on the Raiders. Well.... in pre-season/regular season at least. So lets first take a look at this vid shall we?
USC WR #9 David Ausberry Highlights 2010 (via CaliforniasGold)
The play I want to really focus starts at the 1:06 mark. You see Ausberry catch the ball about 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. He starts to run up the field, and at about 5 yards to the LOS (line of scrimmage), he makes a nice cut and the first guy misses his tackle. Pause right here because I want to mention something before hand.
Ausberry, when watching this vid, and the next, looks heavy when running. He has good speed, an good quickness. he reminds me of the Steven Jackson at TE. His cuts are slow, but SUDDEN. And he knows when to cut it seems.
Back to the vid, we see three white Jerseys converge on him. This is about a couple yards after the LOS. The guy to David's left bounces off of him, and the two other guys, hang onto him for dear life. One of tem gets blocked out of the way, and the last guy drags Ausberry down from the front for about a 7 yard gain. Ausberry picked up a net total of 17 yards, breaking 2 tackles, 1 gets blocked off of him (although to be fair it didn't seem like the white defender really had Ausberry), and with one more guy on him, gains a plus 7 yardage.
This is what I can expect from Ausberry from his ROOKIE year. He is a tough TE, with some good quickness in him, and good speed. But can he catch the ball?
Well there are numerous instances where he body catched it, but they also show him catching with his hands, and in traffic. In my eyes, if you can get an easy body catch, you do so, so I have no problem with that.
At 1:09 is where the footage really starts, unless you want to see his practices at USC.
I saw more catching with the hands this time, and more quickness and tackle breaking. These are highlights of course, so this shouldn't be abnormal. However its good to point out that at least this vid somewhat confirms my initial thoughts on Ausberry in college. He is a tough TE. I think it may have more to do with his balance. He can break tackles because of his body position, and use of physics (not like his is calculating math problems in his head or anything). For example, the play I tackled about above, where I talked after he made that cut. He accelerated, and lowered his upper body. The three defenders converged on him, but since lowered his center of gravity, it made it tough to tackle him, counting his size and momentum as well. This can tell me that he has good fundamentals.
Having good quickness also requires body control and position. And he displayed quickness in these vids. I have seen a couple instances where he caught the ball in traffic. This also requires good body control, but also strength, which Ausberry has.
Coming out of college, Ausberry has potential. At worse, he looks like a decent backup. With the right coaching, he can develop into a special TE. I don't know how his blocking is though, and that COULD be an issue but I'll wait till I see him more.
But this is all from college. What has he done since then? He says he gained weight, but speed hasn't been lost. He has performed very well in OTAs and mini camp, becoming one of the standout (in line with Criner and Streater somewhat). From early accounts, Ausberry looks to be primed for a surprise season. I hope I'm right, and I hope Ausberry is up to the task.