User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Rams trade up to get WR Austin from WVU

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Rams got help for quarterback Sam Bradford, trading up eight spots with Buffalo and taking speedy West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin with the eighth overall selection in the NFL draft Thursday night.

Austin was among the fastest players at the combine with an official 40-yard dash time of 4.34 seconds, and with gaudy statistics to match that made him the first skill position player of the draft. His 2,910 all-purpose yards as a senior were fourth-most in NCAA history and he totaled 17 touchdowns last season, including one each on punt and kickoff returns.

Despite a lack of size, the 5-8, 172-pound Austin didn't miss a game in high school or college. His survival plan for the NFL was simple: ``Get down when I need to get down. Step out of bounds when I need to.''

When Rams general manager Les Snead telephoned with the news, it was no surprise. Austin got positive signals during his visit to St. Louis and when the Rams came to Morgantown, W.Va., for a private visit just before the draft.

At the Rams' pre-draft news conference, coach Jeff Fisher said he had no problem taking a shorter player at wide receiver because the 6-4 Bradford would be able to find him.

``Me and the coaches just clicked,'' Austin said. ``I had a good feeling just off the vibe they were giving. It was all smiles and everything when I was there.''

The Rams have been active on both draft days under Fisher and Snead. Last year, they traded the second overall pick to the Redskins for a batch of premium picks, including the 22nd overall pick this year. The Bills also got the Rams' second- and seventh-round picks in the deal and the two teams swapped third-round picks.

Austin was considered the best overall wide receiver in the draft. He was an all-purpose threat at West Virginia, topping 100 receptions his junior and senior seasons with 20 touchdowns, averaging 8.9 yards on 72 carries last year and totaling four kickoff returns for touchdown.

Austin holds school records with 7,286 all-purpose yards and 288 receptions. He anticipates getting used all over the field just as in college after Rams coaches discussed roles in the backfield and return game.

``So, they definitely have a plan for me,'' Austin said.

Bradford was the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, but the Rams had taken defensive linemen in the first round four of the previous six years.

Wide receiver has been a position of need for several seasons for St. Louis, who hadn't taken one in the first round since taking Torry Holt in the first round in 1999 - the year the Rams won their lone Super Bowl. The Rams needed one more than ever heading into draft day after Danny Amendola left in free agency, leaving them with a crop of youngsters led by Chris Givens, a fourth-rounder last season.

Last year, the Rams got a starting defensive tackle in Michael Brockers with the 14th overall pick and impact cornerback Janoris Jenkins was among their three second-rounders.


Online: and

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 8 Best Bets - Week 8 'Dogs to Watch - Week 8 Dak, Dallas getting noticed
Titans rout Jaguars, 'over' cashes
Broncos' C.J. Anderson has surgery
Dolphins' Landry fined for illegal block
Big Ben asks rival Brady for his jersey
Aldon Smith applies for reinstatement
Why Buy Picks From
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NFL Hot Streaks
14-2 L16 Totals, 9-1 Sun., 21-7 L28
13-3 G-Play Run, +1,095 TY
5-2 Sunday, 7-2 L9 G-Plays
9-1 Last 10 NFL Guarantees
6-0 Record L2 Sundays
4-1 Sunday, 10-4 L14 G-Plays
5-2 Sunday, 10-3 L13 Totals
10-3 L3 Sundays, 28-14 NFL Run
17-7 Last 24 NFL G-Plays
6-1 Thursdays TY, 13-6 L19 GPlays
4-2 Sunday, 4-1 G-Plays TY
6-1 Guaranteed Plays TY
6-2 Record Last 2 Weeks
9-4 Last 13 Guaranteed Plays
3-0 L3 Thurs., 10-5 L15 Picks
6-2 Last 8 NFL Guarantees
NFL Pro Football Expert Picks - Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 985
The Gold Sheet + 534
Michael Black + 479
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 780
Jimmy Boyd + 290
Kevin Rogers + 285
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Michael Black 59 %
Pat Hawkins 59 %
The Gold Sheet 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 1060
Chip Chirimbes + 665
ASA + 631
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 542
Kevin Rogers + 465
Pat Hawkins + 370
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 810
Gary Bart + 654
Jimmy Boyd + 495
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership