Rams Trade Up, Pick Tavon Austin at No. 8
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Rumors about the St. Louis Rams interest to trade up in the draft order to make sure they got wide receiver Tavon Austin came true on Thursday evening. The Rams swapped top overall picks with the Buffalo Bills to acquire the first skill player (QB,RB,TE,WR) taken in the 2013 NFL Draft.
The Rams gave up their top first round pick (#16) along with picks in the second, third and seventh rounds. Along with getting the eighth overall pick from the Bills, the Rams also acquired an additional pick in the third round.
Austin, 22, is from Baltimore, MD and played four seasons of collegiate football for the West Virginia Mountaineers where he excelled as a two-time All-American and All-Big East Conference wide receiver. At 5’8 and 181 lbs., Tavon Austin is considered to be the most explosive player in the 2013 NFL Draft class. He is expected to add speed and versatility to the Rams’ offense while also being an option as a returner on special teams.
At West Virginia, Austin was used in various ways from taking handoffs and pitches to lining up in the slot and out wide. He scored a total of 40 career touchdowns (29 receiving, 6 rushing, 4 kick returns & 1 punt return) including 17 total TD’s a season ago. Towards the end of the NCAA regular season in 2012, Austin suddenly became a Heisman Trophy contender, especially after posting 572 all-purpose yards (second most in FBS history) in a performance against the Oklahoma Sooners last November.
The incoming Rams rookie was one of the fastest players at the NFL Scouting Combine with a 40 time of 4.34 seconds. With the loss of wide receiver Danny Amendola, the Rams certainly made a move to fill a void at what has been a key position for the offense over the past few seasons.
This marks the second consecutive NFL Draft in which the Rams have made a trade in the first round. Last year, general manager Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher made the decision to trade away the second overall pick in the draft to the Washington Redskins. They eventually selected defensive tackle Michael Brockers.