NFL Draft Prospect: Austen Lane

Austen Lane, DE, Murray St. (2nd Rd. in 2010 NFL Mock Draft)

Update: Check out our post-Senior Bowl interview with Austen

Sometimes it takes a Racer to remind you of what is important in the game of NFL Football. After a revealing conversation with Murray State Racer defensive end Austen Lane, we’ve come to agree with his statement – “It’s not where you’ve been, it’s where you’re going.” Lane spun that yarn after being asked what it’s like to play for a 1-AA school, telling me that Murray State was the only Division 1 scholarship offer that he received out of tiny Iola-Scandinavia High School deep in the heart of Wisconsin.

That certainly did not hold Lane back after reaching the college ranks, playing well against future NFL players Breno Giacomini (OT, Packers),and Colin Brown (OT, Chiefs), totaling 7 tackles and a sack in the two games. Lane totaled a school-record 12 sacks his senior season, and finished 2nd in the country with 22 tackles for loss.

More play against top-talent might be in the future for Lane as well. “I’m on the Shrine Bowl waiting list, and I’m still hoping to play in the Senior Bowl”, he stated, echoing the hopes of NFL Draft scouts everywhere. Lane also confirmed that he will be playing in the upcoming Texas vs Nation game.

Lane’s frame (6-7/265) and athleticism (4.65 forty, 6.7 three cone, 24 bench reps, and 35″ vert) will afford him the opportunity to fit in a variety of defensive schemes. Playing in space is one thing that Lane likes to do, as he felt that it allowed him to use his athleticism, although he still likes to “line up 1 on 1 and dominate someone.”

When asked about where he feels that he would fit in best, Austen told us that “I’ll play anywhere… we played a 4-2-5 my Senior year, which had me playing on the edge in a 3-point stance. My junior year though, when we blitzed, about 50% of the time I would drop back in coverage – either taking a receiver, the flats, or screens.” Those diverse experiences will go a long way in scouts’ eyes.

When pressed on whether he has the variety of pass-rush moves to be successful in the NFL, Lane retorted that “I still have to work on my technique, I like to use my bull-rush… but pass-rush is sometimes more about ‘Want to’ than ‘variety’. It’s about work ethic.”

While I asked him to pretend like he was in a NFL Combine interview, Austen stated the following to the GM of the interviewing team: “I have a passion for the game. This is my life. I have a hard work-ethic, I’m a team first guy, I’m aggressive. I might be laid back off the field – I won’t be causing any scenes – but when I step in between the white lines, I’m a completely different player. I feel the need to prove myself each day.”

Hopefully Austen gets to prove himself against the very best NFL Draft Prospects at the Senior Bowl this winter, and if not, I’m sure he’ll make himself known next NFL season. With his determination, let’s hope he’s fighting for the Patriots, not against them.

Thanks to Shawn at XAM Sports Management for making this happen.

Check out more NFL Draft Prospect Interviews!


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