Now that you've changed your mind, how could the Rams acquire such a talent when his draft stock appears to be flying through the roof? There are only three ways to make it happen. Here's how the Rams can go about drafting Tavon Austin.
- Staying put:
When the draft process started Tavon Austin was a late 1st/early 2nd round pick. Now, as of this week, Austin is considered a top 10 pick. The Rams might not buy the hype. They may feel they understand the market better than anyone. After all, Austin is 5'8 and less than 180lbs. Investing major capital on a player that small is extremely rare. The increased interest may be nothing more than a smoke screen, and perhaps the Rams don't buy it. If that is the case, the Rams will have made the smartest decision they could possibly make, and will be able to snag an electric playmaker with their 16th overall pick. This is very risky if you feel that there is a strong market for Austin's services. Any other NFL team could make New Orleans a beautiful offer to steal Austin from right underneath the Rams noses in this scenario.
- Trading up:
If the draft week hype is real, Tavon Austin will be a top 10 pick. The Rams would have to get in front of all possible suitors to secure their man. While trading up seems like the easiest way to secure Austin, it is actually a very dangerous game. If Austin is truly coveted this much, the Rams are not just trying to get in front of teams like Buffalo and New York, they are trying to get in front of any other team that is considering moving up. A team like the 49ers or Vikings certainly have the capital to move into the top 10 picks if they covet the same player. The Rams will have to determine the climate for this years draft before other teams, and pull the trigger at the proper time to move up. This often means giving up more that you would like. You have to absolutely love Tavon Austin to make this move.
One scenario I haven't seen anyone speculate on yet includes the Rams trading a 2014 pick to move up for Austin. With both the Rams and Redskins improving quickly, the Rams may decide that trading a 2014 1st or 2nd round pick to move up this year suits there long term goals better. Just another thing to consider. Fisher and Snead are outside of the box thinkers, so everything is worth considering.
- Eli Manning/Phillip Rivers trade for Austin:
As crazy as this sounds, it is still a possibility. The only way this works for the Rams is if they can work a special deal out with someone like Buffalo (or someone else). If Austin where to fall to that team, they would draft him. They could then allow the Rams to select a player in their favor for a trade to happen after-the-fact. This would allow both teams to have pre-designed plans in place without having to swap picks. The only benefit to this plan is that it provides more reliable contingencies, and could also provide structure for something like a 2014 pick trade. While this is extremely unlikely, I thought it was worth covering all the bases. As stated above, the Rams front office thinks outside of the box.
So what do you think? Can the Rams add the playmaking receiver from West Virginia that has all the headlines today? What will be the ultimate cost?