When the St. Louis Rams drafted Tavon Austin in 2013, the hope was that he would give the team the dynamic playmaker they’d been missing. Instead, he's just become another cog in the system. Shortly after the Rams drafted the young wideout, a lot of critics thought the trade up for Austin was a bad move. And the way the dust has settled thus far, those critics were right to have their doubts.
On NFL Network's Around The NFL, they recently discussed six offseason trades they'd like to see happen and one of those trades was for Tavon to take his talents to the Eagles. Here's what they had to say on the matter:
We know Chip Kelly is not afraid to make bold moves with draft picks moving away. We know the Rams have no idea how to use Tavon Austin. We know these two squads aren't afraid to make a deal. No coach is better at getting the primary receiver open than Chip Kelly, and Austin would be a perfect "space" player in the Eagles’ offense who could make plays after the catch. -- Gregg Rosenthal
Right now, the former first round pick is probably the fourth best receiver on the roster. Last year's free agency project, Kenny Britt, is the best receiver currently on their roster. Brian Quick was having a great season last year until he injuried his shoulder, and Stedman Bailey has the arrow pointing up after showing flashes late last season.
As for Austin, the Rams either don't know how to use him in their system or Austin just has not developed like they hoped. When the Rams traded up for Austin in 2013, they continually brought up having a plan for him. But if the Rams were talking about Austin being more than a good returner, their plan has yet to work. When you think about Austin, the first thing that comes to mind is the amazing game he had against the Indianapolis Colts in his rookie season. But that was just one game. Last season, Austin finished the season with 32 receptions and 242 receiving yards. He also rushed the ball 36 times for 224 yards.
It seems like the Rams want to use Austin like he's Darren Sproles, and maybe that's the best way for him to get the ball. The production is not there, but maybe having a solid quarterback in Nick Foles, and the continued progression of the other receivers on the roster, will make Austin become the playmaker everyone thought he'd be.
More than likely the Rams will keep Austin, but who would have thought Sam Bradford would be an Eagle?