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Tavon Austin goes to St. Louis Rams after Bills trade

NEW YORK -- The St. Louis Rams wanted Tavon Austin badly. So they made sure the New York Jets didn't have a chance to grab the speedy receiver.

In a bold trade, the Rams moved up from No. 16 to No. 8 overall to grab the former West Virginia wide receiver. The Rams sent the No. 16, No. 46, No. 78 and No. 222 pick to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for Austin and the Bills' third-round pick -- No. 71. The Rams had the draft surplus to move in large part because of the picks they acquired in the Robert Griffin III trade.

Sam Bradford hasn't lived up to his promise as a No. 1 overall quarterback, but it's not like he's had weapons. Austin should help change that. Austin is like a turbo-boosted version of slot receiver Danny Amendola, who left the Rams in free agency for the New England Patriots this offseason. The Rams also added tight end Jared Cook to help out Bradford.


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The move completes Austin's month as the "It" player in this draft. A player who can excel as a runner, returner, receiver and everything in between, Austin initially was pegged by most draftniks to be a late first-round pick because he's under 180 pounds. But this is a different NFL. This is a spread-heavy NFL with an emphasis on space players.

Austin is similar to Darren Sproles, if Sproles could run the entire route tree like an experienced wideout. Austin is a matchup nightmare with unique burst and will be one of the most fascinating players to watch this fall. Ten years ago, Austin may have been drafted in the third round.

Now he's a top-10 pick and the best reason to watch Rams games this fall.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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