Draft Blog - More on Receivers
No doubt, if one looks at ceiling, It's Patterson and Hunter clearly over Austin,
The Rams have an extra #1, a wild card, so to speak. Last year they used theirs on Jenkins and Pead. Teams seem to get riskier when they have that extar pick, taking a guy the coach just loves, that maybe isn't as highly ranked, or going totally against need for a boom or bust type.
I'd like to look at what they project to become
Patterson could be Andre Johnson, Hunter could be a taller Hakim Nicks, a HEALTHY DX.
Austin is Santana Moss. He'll be great as a return guy, maybe a Pro Bowler, and as a guy who can turn a short bubble screen or end around into a long gainer.
He can't play inside, he can't block, and he won't be a true deep or red zone threat, because of his height.
Having said that, keep in mind the Rams division is full of great big corners. While they could have a big advantage over Austin downfield , they are going to have a hard time covering the quick slant and quick in routs, and like Roy Green once did for the Cardinals, they outrun the safeties on those and go a long way.
Austin will never be a #1 receiver, but he will be a real weapon right away in the return game, and my guess is he wouldn't catch 40 balls as a rookie.
So lets look at what the Rams have at WR now. They have a tall red zone/deep threat in Quick, an Anquan Boldin type in Pettis, a big slot guy with good hands who can block.
Then you have a Torry Holt type guy in Givens, a big time deep threat who can play anywhere. His return skills have not been evident though.
Austin would no doubt have a bigger immediate impact than any other WR in this draft, my pick as offensive rookie of the year.
He would also, to me, be a reach at 16, looking at other players who will be available.
Is it a reach the Rams will take, if he is there at 16? It depends who drops, and if it's a guy they love.
It also depends on what other kick returners are available in later rounds, and how much better as a pure receiver Hunter, Hopkins, Rogers, Woods, and Williams are.
If they are way better fits, they can wait till 22 to take a receiver.
They won't get Austin at 22 in my opinion.
If he goes top 16, and also Patterson, and also two or three QB, there is going to be a really great prospect there fr the Rams, and if they don't want that guy, you can bet a bunch of teams would be looking to trade up for that pick.
So, as far as a fit, the Rams DO need a KR, Badly, and in close division games, we've seen how that unit has been the difference all too often.
They also kind of need a guy who can turn short passes into long ones, and occasionally get away deep down the middle, where his height isn't as much a hindrance.
Whether they need a high ceiling prospect to become #1, or they think the three starters here WILL be the three starters all year, then Austin really makes the most sense, because of that return game, which cannot be underestimated. It's what got Patrick Peterson drafted so high, though he would have been top 15 anyway,it's what made Percy Harvin a Seahawk.
I know THIS, if Mike Martz was the head coach, and Charlie Armey were the GM, Tavon Austin would be a Ram.
I'm going to look at some more video on Austin, especially his returns.
I don't worry about him getting hurt, because he won't be a guy that gets 100 catches a year. As I said, He'll be Santana Moss, who is STILL with Washington, who usually doesn't keep players long, 9 years after the Jets stupidly let him go
I'm getting more and more to the point of worrying if Austin will BE there at 16.
I always try not to fall in love with some player, especially at a flashy position, but it sure seems like a good fit, even if it is a reach. .