2013 NFL Draft: Best Pick of the First Round

By Curt Popejoy
Tavon Austin
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

It seems that every time the NFL draft rolls around fans of all 32 NFL franchises sit back and with anticipation watch the first round in hopes that their favorite team gets that game changing talent that either turns around their franchise or keeps them at the top.

In the 2013 NFL Draft, it appeared that nearly every team had a plan and stuck to it, getting a player that can really help them. But for me, one team and one pick stood out to me not only for the value of the pick, but for the impact the player can have on their new team.

When I think about value, I think about the impact a player can have on a team. It’s not about my personal rankings, but it’s about finding a great fit. The St. Louis Rams understood how important this season is for the franchise. Up until this point their talented quarterback Sam Bradford has had to deal with inconsistencies in roster, coaches and scheme. It’s held up his development in a huge way. But this year, he’s going into his second season with the same offensive system, and with that the Rams front office finally decided to lay a weapon into his lap in West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin.

Austin is the type of athlete that will make Rams fans remember back to the days of the Greatest Show on Turf. He is two steps from full speed and a long gain every time he touches the football. And the ways he can touch the football is numerous. I expect the Rams to line him up in the slot as well as a running back. I wouldn’t be shocked if they lined him up in a two back set as the quarterback. He’s also a dynamic return man, but I think if they see his value on offense his touches in the return game could be limited to save him the wear and tear.

This is an easy pick for me as the best pick of the round. It showed the Rams are committed to winning and committed to getting their offense on track. Austin is going to have games where his impact will be minimal, but I’m willing to bet that six or eight games this year where fans are going to be wowed by what Austin can do. He’s going to be a difference maker and this pick was perfect for what the Rams needed.

Curt covers the Pittsburgh Steelers, the NFL draft, and college football for Rant Sports. Connect with Curt on Twitter @nfldraftboard.


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