Following his roller-coaster college career, New York Jets rookie Blessuan Austin has huge goals in mind.
The New York Jets selected Bless Austin in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Austin is an intriguing prospect from Rutgers who the Jets could not wait any longer to snag.
Now, Austin is already putting forth incredibly lofty goals at the next level, via Darryl Slater of NJ.com
“I want to be the best to ever play this game at my position,” Austin said. “Regardless of if I was healthy or not, I was always going to come to this level and have that chip [on my shoulder].” It is evident that Bless has confidence in himself and that he can come back one hundred percent.
As a collegiate player, Bless emerged on the scene during his sophomore year. During a tremendous second-year campaign, he put up 14 pass deflections. This earned him an honorable mention All-Big Ten award. After his amazing sophomore stint, the New York native was projected to be a high third-round to a low second-round pick.
However, the Austin caught the injury bug and he caught it hard. During his junior season, he tore his ACL for the first time. This was devastating for the kid as he had high hopes for the season. Nevertheless, he fought through this awful injury and was back for the first game of his senior year.
Austin then started his first game back in his first game back as Rutgers defeated Texas State 35-7. He recorded two tackles for loss with an interception in his name. Unfortunately, he ended up tearing the same ACL during that game. This was a major setback for him as it severely hurt his draft stock.
After bursting into the spotlight in year two, Austin was not able to do much more during his next two years. Due to his limited time on the field, he only totaled 89 tackles and 23 career pass deflections during his time at Rutgers.
To further tank his draft stock, Austin came into the combine still rehabbing off of his ACL tear. This caused him to only participate in the bench press event where he put up 15 reps (tenth most out of all defensive backs). The Rutgers product then looked to his pro day to prove to teams why they should draft him. Austin put up a 4.65-second 40-yard dash with his injured left leg. This left teams to wonder what he has in the tank at full capacity.
There is no timetable for Blessuan Austin’s return as he and team have not given a definite answer. It is unlikely he plays at all in the preseason or in the first few weeks of the regular campaign. Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has even said that it is possible that Austin begins the season on the PUP list. This would then cause him to sit out at least six weeks.
When Bless is able to come back, he will look to join a long list of great NFL defensive backs (Devin and Jason McCourty, Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon and Marcus Cooper) who came out of Rutgers.