Here's a look at what national media are saying about the St. Louis Rams drafting former Dunbar star Tavon Austin with the No. 8 pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
** SI.com's Don Banks says the Rams gave up a lot to get Austin, but the West Virginia wide receiver could very well be worth it.
St. Louis shipped its 16th overall pick to Buffalo to get to No. 8 for Austin, also throwing the Bills a second-rounder (No. 46), a third-rounder (No. 78) and a seventh-rounder (No. 222); with the Rams getting the Bills' 71st overall pick in the deal as well.
You can't do that every year, but Austin was one of the few offensive playmakers in this draft, and he's just what the Rams needed with the loss of receiver Danny Amendola in free agency. The Rams offense is built to play fast in their dome, and Austin gives St. Louis a weapon who should be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.
** SI.com's Peter King says Austin became such an attractive player to teams because of the direction NFL offenses are headed.
I think Tavon Austin became the most desired skill player in the draft because of the way the game is going. People want multi-faceted offensive players, and Austin, though very small, scored four ways last fall. The Rams might get him killed doing it, but they plan to use him as a slot receiver (maybe 700 snaps) and a punt-returner (maybe 50 punts) and are open to using him as a kick-returner too. Think of Austin -- after watching his highlights over the last few days -- playing on the Ed Jones Dome turf. What a weapon.
** SI.com's Chris Burke gave St. Louis an A- for its drafting of Austin.The Rams traded four picks (16, 46, 78 and 222) to move up eight spots in Round 1 and seven spots, to No. 71, in Round 3. Austin alone is worth it, especially with St. Louis still possessing another first-round pick. He’s one of my favorite players coming out of college this year, and he could really change what St. Louis is able to do on offense.** CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco gave the Rams a B for selecting Austin.Austin is one of my favorite players in this draft. I love this kid. It's a league of big plays, and he will provide plenty of them.
** FoxSports.com named St. Louis its No. 1 winner on Day 1 of the NFL draft.
A dynamic 5-foot-8, 170-pound playmaker, Austin doesn’t fit the mold for the typical wide receiver selected in the top 10. That said, with the Jets reportedly chomping at the bit to select Austin at No. 9, the Rams did what they had to do to get their guy.
** Grantland's Bill Barnwell has a more nuanced take on the Rams' decision to trade up to grab Austin.
It's not a terrible trade for the Rams, but they might have been smoke-screened into the move by the Jets. New York spent most of the past two days talking up its interest in Tavon Austin, which got the Rams all agitated and encouraged them to move one pick ahead of the Jets, into that eighth spot. I think Austin will do very well in St. Louis and was the best wideout in the class by a wide margin, so I don't think the 18.4 percent figure from the numbers reflects an accurate view of how Buffalo might have won this trade. It was a win-win trade with a slight lean toward the Bills.
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