“Bust” Alert: Tavon Austin

If it’s one player’s draft stock that has risen since the combine, it’s Tavon Austin. Austin had a pretty good combine posting a 4.34 40 yard dash. Since then Austin has been considered one of the best wide receivers in the draft if not the best, and could very well be a top 15 pick. Austin is a great playmaker and can get to the end zone from pretty much anywhere on the field, whether it’s in the backfield, returning kickoffs and punts, or just at the wide receiver position, Austin can score. However, when it comes to a player like Austin, you just wonder if it’s too good to be true, and in case it definitely could be.

 

The main problem with Austin is obviously his size. The guy is only 5’8 174lbs. Given his size, Austin would be more susceptible to injury and if the Rams were to pick him at 16 they very well could be getting themselves into another Danny Amendola situation. The chances of Austin playing a full season in the NFC west aren’t likely. I can see Patrick Willis giving Austin concussion after concussion, getting hit running across the middle. It’s not impossible that Austin can’t play a full season as he stayed relatively healthy during his college career, but NFL linebackers hit a lot harder than those at the college level. Also Austin did struggle against a decent defense when WVU played Kansas St. Austin only had 6 receptions for 34 yards

Austin would also be strictly limited to the slot, because he lacks the size to play on the outside. The Rams do have a need at the slot receiver position, but why not draft DeAndre Hopkins or Justin Hunter instead and put them on the outside and then put Chris Givens who fits the mold of a slot receiver and put Givens in the slot? Austin does fill a need as a punt returner and kick returner, but you shouldn’t be drafting role guys in the first round.

Austin may not become a “bust”, but is it really worth the risk of him not being able to play a full season and only being limited to certain areas of the field. The Rams need playmakers, but I don’t think Austin is the answer there. Every year during the draft a team is taking a risk every time they choose a player. Some players are just a little more riskier than others. Austin may just be one of those risks.

 

Topics: St. Louis Rams, Tavon Austin

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  • bluenotebacker

    I’d wager the Rams have ZERO interest in drafting Austin @ 16, and maybe not even at 22. This draft is so deep at WR it would be very careless of them to blow a 1st rounder on a guy that size, and I think their leadership is smart enough not to

    • Nathan Kearns

      They clearly have SOME interest considering they brought him in for a private workout. However, I do agree, vaguely, with the idea that the front office, particularly Les Snead, would not be as high on a player like Tavon Austin.

      Snead essentially built the Atlanta Falcons’ dynamic offense by scouting Roddy White and making that epic move for Julio Jones when he was the Director of Player Personnel. White isn’t the tallest player, but he is nearly 5″ taller than Austin, and plays like he has Plaxico Burress height.

      Cordarrelle Patterson is essentially a clone of Julio Jones, both 6’3 and float around 210 lbs., and clocked 40-times within .04 seconds of one another. Where they differ are their skills sets, “style,” and NFL readiness right out of college.

      Julio Jones was a BRUISER in college, with a nasty stiff arm, and that would lower his shoulder at the end of a play and make the DB think twice about trying to tackle him up high. He could break away if he got behind the safety, but was not “dynamic” after the catch, at least in terms of making players miss with sharp cuts, jukes, or spins. He was much more polished, especially as a route runner, and played against just as much talent, if more more… and did so on the biggest stage in college football (the University of Alabama football program).

      Patterson will not lower his shoulder, he isn’t going to break a DBs facemask with a stiff arms, and he isn’t going to run the cleaning breaks on out routes… yet. Patterson is nowhere near as “ready” as Jones, but possesses a skill set that is unique, especially for players his size. After the catch, he moves like he is a 5’9 slot receivers, with devastatingly sharp cuts, ankle-breaking spins, and a second gear that will leave a DB wishing he would have taken a much, MUCH deeper angle in pursuit. His “field vision” is unlike any player in this draft, aside from maybe Austin… However, he has all of that built into a 6’3 monster frame. With the right coaching and some experience on the field, Cordarrelle Patterson could be one the more dynamic players in the league. Those players do not come along often…

      The St. Louis Rams have taken the “smart, highly-productive receiver with solid route running” more times than I can count on my hands (i.e. Greg Salas, Austin Pettis, Mardy Gilyard, Donnie Avery, etc.). It is time that we take a risk, a real RISK, and trust that we have the talent on the team and talent in the coach staff to ensure that we reap the REWARD!

  • Blaine Grisak

    I wouldn’t say the Rams have zero interest in drafting Austin, he is a playmaker, and the Rams need playmakers. However I think they should wait until 22 and maybe even trade down a few spots or wait until the second round when they pick at 46 to get a receiver.

  • deanos5150

    Seems you had the FO completely wrong?

  • Gary Stewart

    hindsight 20/20 here boy were you all wrong at least as It pertains to the rams interest or were you all engaging in smokescreening on behalf of the management of the rams and that being said I do understand the risk at his size but its a risk that hopefully will prove to be worthy of the selection

  • dennymojo

    who died and made you king,damn 9er fan