Tavon Austin, Bills Agree to Contract; WR Spent 2021 with Jaguars

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 3, 2022

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 26: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)  Tavon Austin #7 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in action against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 26, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Jaguars 26-21. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills are adding some speed to their wide receiver group.

Tavon Austin, who was the No. 8 overall pick of the 2013 NFL draft, signed with the reigning AFC East champions. The West Virginia product spent the 2021 campaign with the Jacksonville Jaguars but had just 24 catches for 213 yards and one touchdown.

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bills?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bills</a> are signing WR Tavon Austin, according to a source and, well, Austin’s IG. Former eighth overall pick had 24 catches in seven games with the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jaguars?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jaguars</a> last year. <a href="https://t.co/0l735Mh5tf">pic.twitter.com/0l735Mh5tf</a>

Austin has played for the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and Jaguars during his NFL career, but he is still best known for his accomplishments at the collegiate level.

He was an electrifying playmaker for the Mountaineers and finished the 2012 season with 114 catches for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns to go with 643 yards and three scores on the ground. He also had a kick-return touchdown and punt-return touchdown during that season as one of the most unstoppable players in the nation.

It is fitting that the 2012 Johnny Rodgers Award winner as the nation's most outstanding return specialist first made his mark in the NFL on special teams with punt-return touchdowns in each of his first three seasons.

However, he is yet to live up to the expectations that came with his draft status as a wide receiver.

Austin has reached 500 receiving yards in a season just once (2016 for Los Angeles) and has been nothing more than a secondary contributor in the following years. Last season was no different on a Jacksonville squad that could have used more playmaking on the way to a 3-14 record.

Buffalo offers him a much more direct path to contributing for a contender, and he won't have to worry about drawing too much defensive attention playing in an offense that also has Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Dawson Knox, Devin Singletary and more.

Austin can work in the slot and take advantage of the openings that double-teams on Diggs create and perhaps use his speed to surpass 500 receiving yards once again.