Buffalo Bills turning the 8th pick into a hotspot for WR Tavon Austin

4/25/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Blog Photo - Buffalo Bills turning the 8th pick into a hotspot for WR Tavon AustinAt the beginning of the pre-draft process, West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin wasn't a name that was too high on many draft boards. As a matter of fact, most analysts didn't even have him among their top two or three receivers in this draft. However, the 5'9'' slot receiver has shot up draft boards as the draft has grown closer, and he is now a coveted asset of several teams.

One of the teams that reportedly covets the little speedster are the Buffalo Bills, who are said to have Austin as the top overall player on their draft board. Selecting 8th overall, I don't see Buffalo as being a realistic landing spot for Austin. The Bills already have a viable slot receiver in Stevie Johnson, and have adamantly stated that they plan on using him there. What I believe the Bills are doing here is attempting to create interest in their 8th overall pick.

The team that drafts one pick after the Bills are the New York Jets, who many consider the first team that will realistically consider drafting Austin. As a result, any team that desires Austin may have to jump ahead of the Jets to get him.

The Bills want to create interest in their first-round pick because the player they want in this draft is Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib. However, selecting him 8th overall would be considered a pretty substantial reach. If the Bills could trade down to the mid- to late-first round, they would be able to select Nassib at a more appropriate spot while also gaining extra picks later in the draft.

The prime candidate I see for trading up to the Bills' spot is the St. Louis Rams. The Rams have been heavily linked to Austin, but he'd have to fall past the Jets (twice) and Panthers to make it to their 16th overall selection. With two first-round picks (the second is 22nd overall), the Rams could make up for anything they lost in a trade with the Bills by trading down later in the first round.

I don't expect the Bills to select Austin, but it's looking like their current position could end up being where this year's top receiver is selected.
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