News: Jeff Fisher didn't shy away from expectations for rookie receiver Tavon Austin's workload this season, telling the media that he will most definitely be involved. "[W]ere going to try to get the ball to him as often as we can, however we do that," Fisher said. "Hes very talented. We drafted him because hes got receiver skills, run skills, return skills, so we hope that we can use him in all those areas."
Analysis: Fisher commended Austin on his first minicamp with the Rams, saying he was well coached to notice the little detail things and is ahead of the game. The small but explosive speedster could see in the neighborhood of 140 targets this season and pick up plenty of catches off of that as he'll work in a short-area attacking role not unlike Percy Harvin and Randall Cobb. Austin is among the most exciting rookies to check out on Draft Day; he went late in Round 7 in our recent mock draft. He'll probably end up going around there in seasonal drafts as well as in dynasty/keeper leagues while being a solid first-round pick in rookie-only drafts.
News: Early in the 2012 West Virginia season, it probably would have been a surprise to see receiver Tavon Austin picked in the 2013 NFL Draft ahead of his quarterback, Geno Smith. But on Thursday in the first round, that's exactly what happened as the Rams picked Austin with the No. 8 overall selection. Not only that, St. Louis traded up with the Bills in order to grab Austin -- possibly one spot before the Jets could. Austin worked himself into becoming one of the top receiving prospects of this year's draft. He has the size (5-foot-9) and playmaking skills of Percy Harvin. NFLDraftScout.com calls Austin the top playmaker in the draft, so it makes perfect sense that he was selected within the first 10 picks. When asked how he might be used in St. Louis, Austin gave Fantasy owners a lot to think about. "[The Rams] showed me all the positions that I did when I played for (West Virginia Head) Coach (Dana) Holgorsen," he told the media. "Theyre going to use me in the backfield. Coach Fisher talked to me about special teams and Im definitely a slot receiver. So, they definitely have a plan for me."
Analysis: Now a member of the Rams and catching passes from Sam Bradford, we'll see how NFL defenders respond to those skills and roles he'll play. He has excellent speed (4.29 in the 40-yard dash). Austin posted back-to-back 100-catch seasons with the Mountaineers, totaling over 11 yards per catch along the way while upping his rushing workload as a senior (72 carries for 643 yards including a school-record 344 rush yards against the Oklahoma Sooners). He will likely play in the slot for the Rams, but he also can play outside. Consider Austin a potential No. 3 Fantasy receiver in standard leagues with a mid-round pick (yep, that high), but in rookie-only drafts he's a first-round selection. He's also a mid-round pick in dynasty leagues. Playing indoors for 13 games this season, Austin should be fun to watch.
News: There's pre-draft excitement building for West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin. Expected to be the first receiver taken, Austin has received interest from squads like the Niners, Rams, Vikings and Jets. In fact, CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora believes the Jets are considering using the ninth overall pick on Austin. The Rams would also reportedly use the 16th pick on him, according to La Canfora, but he's not expected to last that long.
Analysis: Austin is drawing comparisons to Percy Harvin as a two-way explosive threat with excellent speed (4.29 in the 40-yard dash). Standing at 5-foot-9, 174 pounds, Austin posted back-to-back 100-catch seasons with the Mountaineers, totaling over 11 yards per catch along the way while upping his rushing workload as a senior (72 carries for 643 yards including a school-record 344 rush yards against the Oklahoma Sooners). About the only knock on Austin is his size -- because of a lack of bulk there is some concern he won't hold up over the course of his career. The better his quarterback and the more creative his playcaller is, the better his numbers will be. Expect Austin to eventually get picked as a mid- to late-round pick in seasonal leagues, a middle-round pick in dynasty/keeper leagues and a first-round pick in rookie-only formats.