West Virginia Mountaineers standout wide receiver Tavon Austin has a real shot at being one of the first 15 selections off the board in the 2013 NFL Draft, but it’s more likely that he gets selected in the 15-20 range. According to a source close to NFL Insider Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, Tavon Austin will be visiting the St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals this week.
Austin is certainly in high demand, and he is compared as a cross between Seattle Seahawks star wide receiver Percy Harvin and Kansas City Chiefs versatile weapon Dexter McCluster. His terrific forty time at the 2013 NFL Combine shows how fast and explosive Austin is, but there are still some questions about his long speed based on his tape against teams like the Texas Longhorns (thank Kenny Vaccaro for that) and the Kansas Jayhawks.
I don’t think teams are too concerned about that, because Austin is going to be used in the Harvin role all over the formation. You can line him up inside and outside and just use him on screens and short and intermediate routes where you can take advantage of his agility and ability to generate yards after the catch.
The Bengals could really use this guy, and he would be a terrific compliment for A.J. Green. He would relieve a lot of pressure off of Andy Dalton as well, and Dalton’s accuracy on those short and intermediate throws would also fit Austin.
The St. Louis Rams are an obvious fit for Tavon Austin, and I can definitely see them taking Austin off the board with their first first-round draft choice. After losing Danny Amendola in free agency (there were other teams beside the New England Patriots that were prepared to pay more), the Rams have a huge need at receiver (they also lost Brandon Gibson to the Miami Dolphins). Their big void is in the slot, and Sam Bradford is another QB who is better in the short and intermediate game. Bradford needs to have the kind of weapon like Austin to help him out.
I highly doubt the Browns end up taking Austin, because they have bigger fish to fry with the sixth pick in the draft. The Browns really need a wide receiver, but they won’t be getting Austin.
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