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Tavon Austin reportedly will visit San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers didn't solve their speed problem at wide receiver when they traded for Anquan Boldin. They added one of the slowest wideouts in the NFL and lost an athletic tight end in Delanie Walker, who wanted a chance to start and went to the Tennessee Titans.

The 49ers' offense is dynamic, but it's still lacking players who can turn a 10-yard gain into a 50-yard touchdown. That's why it would be so delicious if they selected West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin in the 2013 NFL Draft.


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The more we see of Austin, the more we love how he'll fit into a 2013 NFL offense. NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell believes Austin is talented enough to be a top-10 pick. The 49ers don't choose until the No. 31 overall pick, but they have five picks in the first three rounds. They have the ammo to move up, should they choose.

Austin's return ability figures to appeal to teams that prize versatility, like the 49ers and the New England Patriots. You can line up Austin in the backfield as a running back. You can line him up out wide or in the slot. He figures to be a hot draft property in a league where "space" players are becoming more valuable and where there is more pre-snap movement than ever in the backfield.

The 49ers will host Austin on a pre-draft visit next month, according to The Sacramento Bee. The Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins also will get an up-close look at him.

We just hope Austin lands with a team that is creative enough to maximize his skill set. The 49ers would be at the top of the list.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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