There was no beating around the bush from the St. Louis Rams and their General Manager Les Snead leading up to 2013 NFL Draft. With a desperate need at the wide receiver position after losing both Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson in free agency, St. Louis had to provide quarterback Sam Bradford with more weapons to succeed in 2013. While they signed some key pieces in tight end Jared Cook and left tackle Jake Long, that elusive game-changer was still missing from the equation. Until now, that is.
Welcome Tavon Austin to the Rams! These two have been linked in various reports with the Rams actually traveling to Morgantown, West Virginia to the campus of West Virginia University where Austin played his college ball for a private workout. While he may be small at just 5’8” 174lbs., his potential on-field impact is any but.
Many feel Austin can be a Percy Harvin 2.0 type of player at the next level with the dynamic open field ability as a receiver as well as the flexibility to line up in the backfield from time to time. With their current uncertain situation at running back given Steven Jackson’s departure this offseason, the Rams had to feel this pick was a win-win for the organization.
While there are some questions as to just how Austin will hold up to the wear and tear of the NFL game, he never missed a practice (let alone a game) during his time at West Virginia. The Rams had to feel confident in his skills translating to the next level to move up in the draft for him. Rest assured that Head Coach Jeff Fisher and Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will design some special plays for Austin in the upcoming season.
The cost to move up for Austin wasn’t terribly steep either as the Rams exchanged their 16th overall pick with the Buffalo Bills for the 8th overall selection to grab Austin. In addition to that, the Rams sent their second round selection (46th overall) and a 7th round pick (222nd overall) to Buffalo. The teams also swapped third rounders with Buffalo exchanging 71 for 78.
The Rams have their game-changer in Austin and the Bills got to trade back in what looks like a positioning move to draft a young quarterback. The drama of the 2013 NFL Draft is just getting started. Buckle up!
For more information on Tavon Austin check out his 2013 NFL Draft Profile here!