The St. Louis Rams, by virtue of trading the second overall pick in last year's draft to the Washington Redskins, have two first-round selections in 2013. Mock drafts concerning the Rams are far from unanimous, as the team could be eyeing a few different needs to address first come next Thursday night.
Sports Illustrated's Don Banks, in his latest mock draft on Wednesday, sees them beginning by adding the explosive West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin with the 16th overall pick to boost their lackluster receiving corps. Banks writes that, if Austin is still available, it shouldn't take the Rams long to make the call:
No more calls, we have a winner. If the Rams somehow find Austin still waiting for them at No. 16, they'll show Austin-like speed hustling that selection up to podium (yes, I know they're actually called in, just work with me here). Again, the key to this pick may be the Bucs and Jets swinging their long-debated Revis deal. Because if Tampa Bay keeps its pick at No. 13, Austin could very well be the Bucs' X-factor weapon in 2013.
SB Nation's Dan Kadar lists Austin as the third-rated wideout in this year's draft. In 2012, Austin caught 114 passes for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Mountaineers.
St. Louis next picks at No. 22, and Banks projects them to go defense this time by selecting Texas Longhorns safety Kenny Vaccaro, the draft's top safety in Kadar's position rankings. Banks believes that getting Vaccaro at this spot would be a pretty good steal for the Rams. Vaccaro posted 96 total tackles, two interceptions, 3.5 tackles for loss, five passes broken up and two forced fumbles for the Longhorns in 2012.
For comparison, in his latest mock draft, SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn thinks the Rams will go with North Carolina offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper at No. 16, then Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins with the 22nd overall pick.