2013 NFL mock draft: Tavon Austin to St. Louis Rams

Justin K. Aller

Which receiver will strike the Rams' fancy this year?

The St. Louis, fresh off of a 2-14 season in 2011, made a surprising run in the NFC West last season in Jeff Fisher's first year as a head coach despite one of the least explosive offenses in the NFL. In desperate need of play-makers and more speed at the skill positions, the Rams seem like a virtual lock to take a wideout early in the 2013 NFL Draft. Which one will strike their fancy?

Team Player Position Height Weight Class
16. St. Louis Rams
Tavon Austin, West Virginia
WR 5'9" 174 SR

Ryan Van Bibber: "The Rams offense scored a grand average of 18.7 points per game; only five teams in the NFL were worse. That’s actually a big improvement from the 12 points per game the Rams scored the year before, but it’s not enough to be a winning football team. Since drafting Sam Bradford first overall in 2010, the Rams have lacked two things very important to a quarterback’s development: blockers and playmakers. Enter Tavon Austin. The West Virginia product’s quickness and ability to move with the ball in his hands is unlike anything the Rams have had in almost a decade. Paired with tight end Jared Cook and second-year receiver Chris Givens, the Rams offense would finally have more speed than it does plodding chain-movers who disappear inside the 25-yard line. Yes, Austin is a little guy with all the injury concerns that go with it. He never missed so much as a practice during his college days. Besides, the immediate future of the NFL is smaller and a faster anyway."

Here's our own Dan Kadar to break down the pick:

It’s highly likely the Rams will take a wide receiver in the first round. No player on the team topped 700 yards receiving last season, so it’s clear more weapons need to be given to Sam Bradford. It’s just a matter of figuring out which one fits their system the best. There is a distinct difference in what the Rams could do with a player like Austin compared to a player like Keenan Allen or DeAndre Hopkins. If the Rams want a player that can do multiple things and be a touchdown threat every time he touches the ball, someone like Cordarrelle Patterson seems like a better choice.

We'll move into the second half of Round 1 at Noon, with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Behind the Steel Curtain getting the ball rolling with pick No. 17.

Top 5 players remaining

# Player Pos. College Ht. Wt.
5 Sheldon Richardson * DT Missouri 6'3" 294
11 Bjoern Werner * DE Florida State 6'3" 266
12 Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina 6'2" 311
15 Arthur Brown LB Kansas State 6'0" 241
16 Kenny Vaccaro S Texas 6'1" 215

2013 SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft results

No. Team Player Pos. College
1 Kansas City Chiefs Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M
2 Jacksonville Jaguars Geno Smith QB West Virginia
3 Oakland Raiders Sharrif Floyd DT Florida
4 Philadelphia Eagles Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan
5 Detroit Lions Ezekiel Ansah DE BYU
6 Cleveland Browns Dion Jordan OLB Oregon
7 Arizona Cardinals Barkevious Mingo OLB LSU
8 Buffalo Bills Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia
9 New York Jets Chance Warmack OG Alabama
10 Tennessee Titans Dee Milliner CB Alabama
11 San Diego Chargers Star Lotulelei DT Utah
12 Miami Dolphins Desmond Trufant CB Washington
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State
14 Carolina Panthers Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma
15 New Orleans Saints Alec Ogletree LB Georgia
16 St. Louis Rams Tavon Austin WR West Virginia
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