The St. Louis Rams are widely expected to take a wide receiver with one of the team's two first-round picks on Thursday. The question is: which wide receiver with first-round potential will they take? According to Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports, St. Louis is down to a pair of options for the 16th pick in the draft.
The first and most obvious selection is West Virginia's Tavon Austin, who is now widely expected to be the first receiver off the board in the draft. He makes a lot of sense for the Rams. Austin replaces Danny Amendola, but he does so with the kind of game-changing speed and quickness to turn a simple five-yard passing play over the middle into a 30-yard run.
Austin might not be there when the Rams do the picking at No. 16. In fact, almost nobody expects him to at this point, especially with the Jets sitting on two first-round picks in the top 15 and other teams mulling a trade up. So who is plan 1b?
DeAndre Hopkins is that guy, according to Cole's report. Nuke also makes a lot of sense for the Rams. He even replaces one of Amendola's role of being Sam Bradford's sure-handed, go-to receiving option. Hopkins runs precise routes and owns a sticky pair of hands. His upside isn't what some of the other receiver prospects can boast, but he could have the biggest impact right away.
But this is draft season. Nothing is so simple. Cole's report conflicts with another about the Rams' first-round receiver options. Here's what ESPN's Chris Mortensen had to say about it.
If Austin is there, yes. otherwise, doubts. good night! RT @rlc49er: Mort, are you going to tell me if Rams go with a WR in rd1?— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) April 22, 2013
So there you have it. The Rams are going to draft a receiver in the first round, unless they're not going to draft a receiver in the first round. Clear enough?