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The Lake News Online
  • Rams trade up to get W. Virginia WR Tavon Austin

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  • ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams got help for quarterback Sam Bradford, trading up eight spots with Buffalo and taking West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin with the eighth overall selection in the NFL draft Thursday night. The Rams have been active on both draft days under coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les 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. The 5-8, 172-pound 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. The Rams took defensive linemen in the first round four of the previous six years with Bradford, the first overall pick in 2010, and offensive tackle Jason Smith, chosen second overall in 2009, the exceptions. Wide receiver has been a position of need for several seasons. 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.
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