"Austin is explosive and has the potential to be a first- or second rounder," said one. "His [smaller] size is the concern. But as far as the nation's explosive playmakers, he's No. 1 or 2."
"We've seen a lot of production from both," said another. "Austin is more quick. Dobson is more of a go-up-and-get it guy."
So, yes, there's a good chance WVU could have its first No. 1 overall draft pick. (There have been nine Mountaineers taken in the first round, from Bruce Irvin this year to Joe Stydahar in 1936, the NFL's first draft. Dick Leftridge at No. 3 was the highest WVU player ever taken. That was by the Pittsburgh Steelers.)
Also, we'll keep an eye on Austin and Dobson. Scouts certainly are.
"Our guys," said one scout, "have definitely been trolling your area."
And finally . . .
A farewell to colorful ESPN commentator Beano Cook, who passed away Wednesday in Pittsburgh at the age of 81.
In these parts, Cook will always be remembered for calling WVU his No. 1 team before the 1988 preseason. The Mountaineers, of course, went on to lose to Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl for the national championship at season's end.
Cook hedged after his prediction. He said mid-season that he doesn't "think [WVU] can stay with Notre Dame." He said he thought UCLA actually had the most talent nationally, but decided against traveling to Los Angeles to put together the television spot.
"By picking West Virginia," Cook said, "I didn't have to fly anywhere. They're just 90 miles away [from home]. Did you know I hate to fly? First word you see in an airport is 'terminal.' "
Cook's humor, prediction - whatever the method - and national exposure given to WVU will always be remembered in the Mountain State.
"He called to do a piece for one of [ESPN's] preseason preview shows," said then-WVU and current Auburn assistant athletic director Shelly Poe. "He said he was going to say we would go undefeated.
"He was from Pittsburgh and had an affection for [WVU quarterback and Brashear High graduate] Major Harris. Well, they had Major and, I think, Rico Tyler and five or six players behind Beano doing a little rap with a beat box. Afterward, Beano made his prediction.
"I just remember our coaches rolling their eyes at the prediction, going, 'Oh, brother, what kind of sideshow will this be?' No one ever considered West Virginia."
But Cook did. And after his death, Poe was moved to tweet about her former friend.
"Nothing like a phone call from Beano Cook to make you smile," Poe said. "Stealing a Don Nehlen quote, RIP "to one of the only Pitt guys I like."
Indeed, rest in peace, Beano. And thanks for the fun.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.