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Thread: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

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    Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    A huge part of why Tavon Austin is first on many peoples rankings is his return skills, and that is a huge need for the Rams, as big as any. If you told me whoever te Rams draft first would not return kicks at all, Austin would fall to fifth of my personal receiver list due to being only a slot guy.

    But again the need is there, and hence his value, however:

    1. Austin's average per return is NOT spectacular, 12.7 on punts and 24.8 on r eturns is only above average, not great, 130 returns and 4 TD, is realy good good, not great.
    2. The Rams need a CB, a RB, and two receivers in this draft, all positions where you could focus on kick return specialist as a pro role, like Dante Hall was.

    3. There ar e some very good, very fast returners in this draft, who have way better averages than Austin, and could be had later in the draft.

    Any would rival Austin, and I would prefer a specialist to using a regular there, like with Tony Horne and Hall, so why not draft the best receiver t hen come back later with one of these guys, who are pretty good, but limited players on offense.:

    Onterio McCalleb - RB
    Marquise Goodwin WR
    Stedman Bailey WR
    Robert Alford CB
    Robbie Rouse RB
    Tavoy Moore WR
    Nick WIlliams WR


    Any of these blazing fast and elusive, experienced return guys would be great to add to the roster in the right round, and would certainly ease the angst of not getting a specialist in this draft.

    I just hate to see DeAndre Hopkins get away from us, because we go WR at 16, when better platers are there. I guess I trust Snead, who did pretty well scouting receivers in Atlanta.

    I look at Hopkins, and I see Torry Holt, though Hopkins is a step slower. I see Isaac Bruce, but a bit bigger. I see Reggie Wayne.

    If we can add one of these other guys, or even two, at different positions, I pass on Austin, go with the best player at 16, or trade down, and go with Hopkins at 22, or where they traded down to.

    If I could get Quentin Patton or Bailey in round two, that would make it for me, and then McCaleb, Alford later to compete and back up at RB and CB.

    I like the Idea of coming out of the first two rounds with one among Warmack, Jones, Rhodes, Richardson, then Hopkins, Bailey, and then safety in round three and BPA four through seven, maybe some trade ups to get a certain G/C, T, DT, LB, CB

    I think Hopkins is a starter from day one, no PROJECT !!
    Beastified likes this.

    Barry Waller

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    Re: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    I like Reggie Dunn as an UDFA if we try for a return specialist.


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    Re: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    Thank you for talking about Hopkins. We HAVE to get him.

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    Re: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    Btw, they got Hopkins at 27 now. You'll stop hearing people say that he's a reach at 22 pretty soon.

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    Re: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    Quote Originally Posted by Beastified View Post
    Btw, they got Hopkins at 27 now. You'll stop hearing people say that he's a reach at 22 pretty soon.
    If their opinions are influenced by internet mock drafts, maybe.

    Count me among those who don't view Hopkins as great value at 22. But as he's unlikely to last to the Rams' second round pick, I'd be okay with him at 22.

    I think where it gets tricky is thinking about who is still on the board when you're picking Hopkins @ 22 that you're passing on. That's the $64,000 question.

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    Re: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Waller View Post
    A huge part of why Tavon Austin is first on many peoples rankings is his return skills, and that is a huge need for the Rams, as big as any. If you told me whoever te Rams draft first would not return kicks at all, Austin would fall to fifth of my personal receiver list due to being only a slot guy.

    Any would rival Austin, and I would prefer a specialist to using a regular there, like with Tony Horne and Hall, so why not draft the best receiver t hen come back later with one of these guys, who are pretty good, but limited players on offense.:

    Onterio McCalleb - RB
    Marquise Goodwin WR
    Stedman Bailey WR
    Robert Alford CB
    Robbie Rouse RB
    Tavoy Moore WR
    Nick WIlliams WR

    !!
    I disagree that Austin is just a "slot" guy.

    IMO, Tavon Austin can line up "anywhere" on the field and draw a mismatch better than anyone in this draft, due to his speed, quickness, elusiveness, vision and instincts.

    And who says we won't draft more than one WR?

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    Re: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    Well, that makes ONE of you. Scouts all see him getting crushed by the Richard Sherman's of the NFL if he plays outside on the line. And how do you explain the fact tht this breakaway deep thread has a career 11.7 average per catch, which in college borders on mediocre for a wide out?

    De Sean Jackson's career average is 17.5. IN THE NFL, in college it was 15.

    Tavon Austin as a receiver, is a poor Man's Wes Welker, PERIOD, at very BEST, he is Santana Moss.

    He's probably not going to return kickoffs either, just punts, where he is good.

    He's a great slot/return prospect to replace Amendola, BUT, I think there will be far higher rated players at 16, and I do not reach. Period. If Austin is there at 22, where he should be at best, THEN I look at him, if another better option isn't there.

    How do you explain the average KO return average?


    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    I disagree that Austin is just a "slot" guy.

    IMO, Tavon Austin can line up "anywhere" on the field and draw a mismatch better than anyone in this draft, due to his speed, quickness, elusiveness, vision and instincts.

    And who says we won't draft more than one WR?
    Barry Waller

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    Re: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    Idk why but I just don't see anything special about Hopkins. I think he's a pretty good player, but there's plenty of good players who could be picked up from rounds 2-5

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    Re: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    Have you watched much of Hopkins games? I saw him a lot, and the guy is a great receiver, and he ran well at the combine to go along with great production, durability and intangibles. He'll never make it to pick 48, let alone pick 40. I think he'll go in round one.
    Barry Waller

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    Re: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Waller View Post
    Well, that makes ONE of you. Scouts all see him getting crushed by the Richard Sherman's of the NFL if he plays outside on the line. And how do you explain the fact tht this breakaway deep thread has a career 11.7 average per catch, which in college borders on mediocre for a wide out?

    De Sean Jackson's career average is 17.5. IN THE NFL, in college it was 15.

    Tavon Austin as a receiver, is a poor Man's Wes Welker, PERIOD, at very BEST, he is Santana Moss.

    He's probably not going to return kickoffs either, just punts, where he is good.

    He's a great slot/return prospect to replace Amendola, BUT, I think there will be far higher rated players at 16, and I do not reach. Period. If Austin is there at 22, where he should be at best, THEN I look at him, if another better option isn't there.

    How do you explain the average KO return average?
    What we have here is a slight difference of opinion.

    I would draft Austin at 16 if he were available, and I'm fine with possibly being the only one.

    Furthermore, if the scouts you refer to have never seen Richard Sherman play against Tavon Austin, their opinions on such a match-up is nothing more than an opinion. Much like yours and mine.

    So I couldn't care less about how they feel that match-up would go, because the exact opposite is just as likely to happen.

    If Tavon Austin turns out to be Wes Welker, I think Ram fans would rejoice, don't you? I just think there's a dynamic there that Wes Welker doesn't possess. And by the way, I'll take Austin over Santana Moss even before he makes it to the NFL.

    And finally, I chalk an average KO return average up to maybe WV's kickoff team can't block worth crap. Who knows?

    We obviously know he can take it to the house if he gets the blocking. And that's really all that matters right?
    Last edited by Fortuninerhater; -03-24-2013 at 01:13 AM.

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    Re: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Waller View Post
    Have you watched much of Hopkins games? I saw him a lot, and the guy is a great receiver, and he ran well at the combine to go along with great production, durability and intangibles. He'll never make it to pick 48, let alone pick 40. I think he'll go in round one.
    Like I said he's not a bad receiver, he just doesn't have the upside of a lot of other receivers in this draft. He runs great routes and has good hands, but his speed and athleticism is too limited to be picked in the middle of the 1st round. I wouldn't mind the Rams trading down and selecting him at the bottom of the 1st round, but I'd rather not use our 1st rounders on someone who projects to be a good #2 WR. Also, if we draft him to play on the outside where does that leave Quick and Givens to play? Neither one is suited to play the slot, and I don't think Hopkins has any experience in it either.

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    Re: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    Hopkins ran a 4.41 and 4.45 forty at his Pro Day, so the speed thing has kind of been put to bed.

    Pretty good for a 6-1 guy. The shorter guys are usually going to look more athletic in drills, but taller guys with great hands concentration work ethic and smarts who run 4.41 usually make the best star WRs, like Torry Holt, to name one.

    Hopkins reminds me of Reggie Wayne, who lasted to the 30th pick of round one for all the same reason we hear about Hopkins. Wayne was 6-1, 200 and ran 4.45, with a modest vertical, and "average" athleticsim.

    They all said he was just another skinny miami receiver who wouldn't hold up as a go to guy. Then they all said he benefitted from Marvin HArrison drawing all the cover age. What do they say NOW??

    Hopkins WILL be drafted in round one, and for very good reason. He'll be a very good receiver in this league.

    Also the Rams are NOT looking for a slot receiver necessarily. T hey have Pettis, and also Cook to do that.

    They are not looking for a tall, raw red zone guy either, they have that in Quick.

    Givens can play anywhere, and lined up in the slot some last year, as well as in college. His skill set , and ability in small areas makes him a solid slot receiver.

    What the Rams are looking for is a game breaker. Not sure Austin, with his mediocre 11.7 YPC in his career, in THAT guy. They are looking for the next Torry Holt or Isaac Bruce or Henry Ellard, a guy who is a t hreat all over the field. Ideally they would want a 6-1 or 6-2 guy with good speed, but better route running and hands, someone polished, not real raw.

    They could take Patterson, but only because of that huge upside to be a #1, but I could see Hopkins or Hunter as very good fit for the Rams receiver corps.
    Barry Waller

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    Re: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Waller View Post
    Hopkins ran a 4.41 and 4.45 forty at his Pro Day, so the speed thing has kind of been put to bed.
    Has it, though?

    You said in another thread that you valued the Combine times the most, even over pro days, because everyone is running on the same surface and conditions. I agree with that approach, so I'm not tempted to alter my thinking about a guy because of his pro day time when I have a Combine time I can use to compare him to his peers.

    As for Hopkins' pro day, it's possible those times you've listed are unofficial. It seems like Hopkins' pro day times are all over the map. Here's a sampling...

    Associated Press: 4.41 & 4.45 (link)
    Tony Pauline of Draft Insider: 4.52 (link)
    Clemson sports site Orange and White: 4.55 (link)
    Charleston newspaper The Post & Courier: 4.55 (link)
    Gil Brandt on NFL.com: 4.57 & 4.58 (link)

    With that said, I agree that he'd be a good fit for what the Rams are looking for. I'm not convinced he'd be among the best values on the board when the Rams pick @ 22, but as there are a couple of teams at the bottom part of the first round or in the early second who could snatch him up, that's probably where St. Louis would have to take him if they wanted him.

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    Re: Return Specialst Crop Could Steer Rams Away From Austin

    Idk I tend not to pay too much attention to 40 times at pro days; different schools have different tracks so not all variables are the same, also some tracks are outdoors so wind can influence a prospect's times. I do like Hopkins game tho, and I think he's going to be a good player in this league, I just would rather trade down a couple spots to get him, but if we get him at 22 so be it.

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