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April 26, 2013
New York - After months of combine preparation, team visits and a week of pure buzz, the process that is the NFL Draft for former West Virginia Wide Receiver Tavon Austin came to an end Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall. The St. Louis Rams traded up from the sixteenth pick to the eighth overall pick to get Austin.
"It means a lot, it means they wanted me," Austin said, "It paid off for me going all the way to them, doing my visit."
Playing four years at WVU, Austin shined. Proving he can catch, run and return the ball with high production, Austin was the talk of the 2013 NFL Draft. Prior to the draft he was talked about at a possible fit with everyone from Buffalo to Carolina. Austin's happy he can finally start living the dream.
"I'm thankful to be able to play with Sam Bradford and, get with the team and start my journey," said Austin, "Now, I'm there, and the rams believe in me, and I believe in them. I'm ready to get up there and get to work now."
Austin will join St. Louis as they open rookie minicamp next week.
As for his former gunslinger and teammate, Geno Smith, it was a night of sitting. In the green room all the former WVU quarterback could do is sit and watch as offensive linemen, and defensive linemen stole the show. While Smith was thought to be the consensus top quarterback in the draft class, that proved to be untrue as Smith saw Florida State quarterback go sixteenth overall to the Buffalo Bills.
Smith, accompanied by his mother, family and teammate Stedman Bailey in the green room watched dreams of first round pick disappear. As the most talked about quarterback, whether positively or negatively in the 2013 class, Smith was asked on Wednesday about if it mattered where he landed in the draft.
"You want to be number one as a competitor, but it's obviously out of my control," said Smith, "Whenever I go it wouldn't make a difference for me. If I go number one, top fifteen, first round that's great, but you take it with a grain of salt because there's still work to be done."
Now clearly Smith didn't expect to fall out of the first round. At pick number thirty, Smith left the green room and exited Radio City Music Hall after realizing he wasn't going to be selected by either Dallas or Baltimore at the bottom of the first round.
Smith is expected to go early in the second round tonight as Jacksonville, Philadelphia and the New York Jets resurface with quarterback needs.