Suffice it to say, Tavon Austin has yet to live up to expectations.
Austin — the No. 8 overall pick in 2013 — is coming off a disappointing rookie campaign that was marred by drops and ineffective route running. He blamed his struggles on not knowing the Rams’ playbook, which to him looked and sounded like Spanish.
Seemingly out of excuses, Austin continues to look ineffective (read: invisible) in training camp this summer. And it’s not sitting too well with Torry Holt, who called out the struggling second-year receiver.
“Tavon Austin has been very quiet this camp, and I thought he was quiet the other night,” Holt said on The Edmonds and McKernan Show on Tuesday. “And for a guy who was picked 8th overall, it’s bothering me he’s been so quiet up to this point.”
The former longtime Rams wideout, Holt now works as the team’s color analyst, frequently attending camp practices. What he’s seen thus far leads him to believe Austin’s “biggest impact” won’t be on offense.
“What it looks like, what is sound like, he’ll make his biggest impact on special teams,” Holt said. “I know fans don’t necessarily wanna hear that, I really don’t wanna hear that, particularly with a guy being picked 8th overall at the receiver position.”
Blessed with blazing 4.27 wheels, Austin averaged 22.1 yards per kick return last season. His special teams highlight came on a 98-yard punt return touchdown in which he simply ran untouched past defenders. Austin’s offensive usage was less productive, however, as he caught just 40 passes for 418 yards despite seeing many snaps in the Rams’ spread attack.
With St. Louis returning to a run-first offense in 2014, Holt questions whether Austin is a good scheme fit. It’s too early to make any determinations, but the pressure is quickly mounting for the diminutive 23-year-old.
(Photo credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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