The Rams are expected to release Tavon Austin. Any takers? He’s a former top-10 pick, but he’s been around for five years without being able to get his career off the ground. It was shocking when the team signed him to a four-year extension worth $42 million prior to the 2016 season.
Now, reality has sunk in. He’s at best an average third receiver. Over the last four years, he’s scored as many touchdowns rushing (4) as receiver. He’s quick with the ball in his hands, but he’s tiny and doesn’t have good hands. He finished with more yards rushing than receiving last year.
And Austin is Exhibit A that there have been more hits than misses with wide receivers in the first round recently. Back in 2011, the Bengals and Falcons hit it big with A.J. Green and Julio Jones, but those kind of talents are rare. In the last six drafts, 25 wide receivers have been chosen in the first round, with more misses than hits.
Of those 25 wide receivers, only 5 so far have more than one 1,000-yard season.
Teams are waiting for players like Kevin White, John Ross, Breshad Perriman, Laquon Treadwell, Mike Williams, Corey Coleman, DeVante Parker, Josh Doctson and others to pop. Chances are that for most of them, it simply won’t happen.
Here are the 2017 numbers for those 25 first-round picks, with catches, receiving yards and total touchdowns (including kick returns and runs). The five guys with multiple 1,000-yard seasons are flagged.
|FIRST-ROUND WIDE RECEIVERS (2012-2017)|
|2013||• DeAndre Hopkins||96||1,378||14.4||13|
|2014||• Brandin Cooks||65||1,082||16.6||7|
|2014||• Mike Evans||71||1,001||14.1||5|
|2015||• Amari Cooper||48||680||14.2||7|
|2014||• Odell Beckham||25||302||12.1||3|