Tavon Austin hasn’t become the kind of player the Rams thought he would be when they traded up to take him with the eighth overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft. But the Rams still think he can be that player.
Rams General Manager Les Snead said on PFT Live that Austin’s wrist and hamstring injuries have been a setback in his ability to learn new coach Sean McVay’s offense, but that doesn’t mean they have lost confidence in him.
“A freakish wrist injury that he actually did doing some clean and jerks during the offseason,” Snead said. “Can you imagine small Tavon doing cleans? Then he comes and has a small hamstring injury during camp.”
Austin has made big plays at times: He has 12 career receiving touchdowns, eight career rushing touchdowns and three career punt return touchdowns. Now the Rams want to see him do it with more consistency.
“We haven’t figured out how much he evolves as a receiver in this offense because he hasn’t had a chance to play,” Snead said. “Plan to see him used very similarly to how he’s been used in the past. By that I mean, he’s scored as a receiver, he’s scored as a running back, he’s scored as a returner. That’s why we like him. He threatens the opposing team in many different ways. We’ve just got to get him healthy.”
If Austin does get healthy, the Rams still believe he has the potential to justify that Top 10 draft pick.