NFL Draft Pick 1:8 - Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams

by Nicholas Minnix on April 25, 2013 @ 18:27:53 PDT


The St. Louis Rams selected West Virginia WR Tavon Austin with the eighth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Fantasy analysis: It was no secret that the Rams coveted the diminutive, explosive receiver as the replacement for the departed Danny Amendola. St. Louis drafted a player with the athletic ability to be much more than the man who sought refuge with the New England Patriots, however. But Austin could also turn out to be nothing more than a dangerous yet overrated return man.

Austin's speed, elusiveness and ability to run routes, among his other assets, should allow him to avoid the bust label, though. He may not have the strength or blocking ability to be anything other than a slot receiver, so the Rams paid a hefty price. Still, it's very likely that the burner will provide Sam Bradford with more than the glorified security blanket that Amendola served as. He has the skills to defeat press and other types of coverage without being physical.

The Rams' playbook is typically tough for wideouts to learn, but Austin's role in it will probably keep him ahead of the curve. This team will expect results from him in 2013, so he'll have fantasy value this season, especially in PPR leagues, likely. He could be anything from a good gamble as a WR5 to a dangerous reach as a WR2 or WR3, given the hype that comes with some rookies, the format of the league and the news about his acclimation to the pro game.

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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