MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Tigers wide receiver Calvin Austin III was selected with the 33rd pick (138th overall) in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday.
Austin was projected to go on Day 2, but will use this as motivation.
“I couldn’t really imagine how the waiting game would feel till I was in there,” said Austin who watched the NFL Draft at home surrounded by friends and family. “Just with each pick is just like it gets longer and longer, it feels like. So, you know, once you finally get it, it kind of makes that way. Feels like you hadn’t even been waiting because of that excitement.”
The excitement level doubled once it set in where he was headed. Austin believes he’ll be a perfect fit in the Steelers offense.
“I think I’ll fit in great. You know, Matt Canada is a type of OC that likes to use a lot of guys in a variety of ways. And, you know, Mike Tomlin, just as a coach, he’s a great coach and just to be in the organization it’s just a great place.”
The Steelers feel the same way about Austin. Receivers coach Frisman Jackson said the coaching staff was impressed by Austin’s versatility on the field.
“Some of the stuff that he did down the field as far as running by people and and catching balls down the field on people, that’s what excited me was that you saw a small guy 5’8″, but he didn’t play 5’8″,” Jackson said.
Austin will be one of the smaller wideouts in the room, but he’s by far the fastest.
“Can you go up and attack the football when the ball is in the air or do you sit down and wait for it?
And he goes up and he attacks the ball in the air. Those 50/50 balls or those complete combat catches like Coach Tomlin likes to say, he goes and makes those plays. And so when when I say he plays bigger than the size, that’s what I’m referring to, where he’s a guy, he plays like a guy 6’1″ 6’2″ as far as when he jumps off and goes and gets the football.”
For the second-straight season, Austin III earned first-team All-AAC honors 2021 after leading the conference in receiving yards (1,149) and receiving yards per game (95.8). He ranked second in receptions (74) and catches per game (6.2) and fifth in receiving touchdowns (8). Austin III is the first wide receiver in program history to earn first-team all-conference honors in back-to-back seasons.