The 2013 NFL Draft is three weeks from Thursday, and it's that time of year when ESPN drags Mel Kiper out of the film dungeon, dusts him off and sits him down in front of a conference phone to talk to the unwashed masses.
On this edition, Kiper predicted that West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin will be selected by the St. Louis Rams with the 16th pick in the draft.
Kiper went on to call Austin "tremendously electrifying," which isn't a stretch even for a draft pundit community prone to stretching things. Through no coincidence, Austin is getting a lot of attention for his incredible playmaking ability. He is on the small side, but that's less of a knock in today's NFL. Also worth noting is that Austin never missed so much as a practice with the Mountaineers.
The Rams will host Austin next week for a private visit to get to know the receiver a little better. There's no doubt the Rams are eyeing a receiver in the first round. Will Austin be available with the 16th pick? That really depends. With so many veteran quarterbacks being snapped up this spring, needy teams can wait to pick a signal caller. That means more demand for other players in the top half of the round, and there aren't many teams that couldn't benefit from the addition of a player like Austin.