One of the players set to take a pre-draft visit with the Detroit Lions in the next couple weeks is West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin. Chris Steuber reports that Austin is going to visit both the Lions and Cleveland Browns in the near future.
This is interesting news simply because Austin is a wide receiver. He's one of the most explosive players in the entire 2013 NFL Draft, and the expectation is for him to be taken in the top half of the first round. It seems like a stretch for him to be a top-five pick, though, and it's tough to imagine the Lions using the fifth overall pick on a wide receiver.
The flip side, of course, is that the Lions do have a need at wide receiver. Adding Austin to an offense that already has Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush would be something else. I can't imagine defensive coordinators would enjoy having to figure out a way to contain all of these different playmakers, especially since Austin could also be used out of the backfield as a running back.
At West Virginia, Austin was known for his big plays. In 2012, he racked up 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns on 114 receptions. He also ran the ball 72 times for 643 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is without a doubt a home-run threat, both as a receiver and a running back.
Again, I have a tough time seeing the Lions using the No. 5 overall pick on Austin, but he would certainly be a player worth considering if they trade down. And if the top four somehow ends up being Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Ezekiel Ansah and Dee Milliner, all bets are off and I guess you couldn't totally rule out Austin at No. 5.