Experienced and successful against good college programs
Makes big plays in the clutch
Thick frame to push defensive backs around
Ready to compete immediately
Will struggle to separate from NFL cornerbacks
Not super twitchy
Not especially sudden out of breaks
Summary: From a NFL draft-stock perspective, a lot of the prospects who decided to sit out the 2020 season because of the pandemic ended up hurting their draft grades, and Ausbon is one of those players. Over his first two seasons, 2017 (50-571-3) and 2018 (31-375-0), Ausbon put up modest production. He then broke out as a junior with 66 receptions for 872 yards and five touchdowns. Quarterback Kellen Mond was streaky, and Mond really missed Ausbon in 2020 after Ausbon decided to sit the season out.
What really sets Ausbon apart is what he can do as a possessional receiver. Ausbon is a dangerous receiver who is not a burner with rare speed, but he makes up for it with polish and physicality. With good route-running and strong, reliable hands, Ausbon is a chain mover who does the dirty work in the short to intermediate part of the field.
Ausbon is very dangerous with the ball in his hands. He uses his well=built frame to break tackles and is very difficult for a lot of defensive backs to get on the ground. His strength to run through their hands makes it difficult for them to get a hold of him. While he isn't super elusive and is more straight line, Ausbon does have the feet to dodge some tacklers in the open field. His potential to pick up yards after the catch makes him a great fit for a West Coast offense.
With his strength and ability to catch the ball in traffic, Ausbon is a nice weapon in the red zone. He tracks the ball well and uses late hands to make the reception. Ausbon flashes his strength to make contested catches and win 50-50 passes. As a pro, he is going to have to win on contested catches because he won't be a receiver who generates separation. Ausbon has shown the ability, however, to win on 50-50 passes and outfight defensive backs by using his thick frame and strength to get the better of them.
Ausbon really hurt himself at his pro day, running shockingly slow 40s in the 4.7s and 4.8s. For Ausbon to run that slowly after all the months to prepare for the 40 from sitting out the fall season, it was a real killer for his draft stock because few NFL receivers run that slow. Ausbon's slow 40 could cause a deep slide. In the 2021 NFL Draft, Ausbon could go as high as the third round if a team decides not to care about his 40, but he easily could slip into the early rounds of Day 3.
Player Comparison: Kenny Britt. In the NFL, Ausbon could be a slower version of Britt. Britt had some good moments as a strong, possession receiver whp was dangerous after the catch. When Britt started slowing down, his career was done, and a lack of speed could be the Achilles heel for Ausbon being a good pro.