Tavon Austin Selected No. 8 by St. Louis Rams
In a draft class somewhat lacking on elite talent at the skill positions, Tavon Austin stood out. Austin caught 114 passes last season for West Virginia, while also running the ball 72 times for 643 yards. He may be undersized, but there are few players in the NFL with the full collection of skills like Austin possesses.
So, with the St. Louis Rams losing Danny Amendola this offseason and standing shy on talent at wide receiver, they made the move for the home-run threat.
This is phenomenal news for Sam Bradford, as well as the rest of the offense — Austin commands defensive attention, so he can open things up just by being on the field. The trick now will be finding creative ways to get Austin the football, a job that will fall on offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
Is Austin undersized? Sure. Will he win jump balls or dominate in the red zone? Probably not. But in terms of natural playmakers, he’s elite in this year’s draft.
Grade: A-minus. The Rams traded four picks (16, 46, 78 and 222) to move up eight spots in Round 1 and seven spots, to No. 71, in Round 3. Austin alone is worth it, especially with St. Louis still possessing another first-round pick. He’s one of my favorite players coming out of college this year, and he could really change what St. Louis is able to do on offense.