Tavon Austin went higher in the draft than a lot of folks expected after the St. Louis Rams traded up to select the West Virginia wide receiver with the eighth overall pick.
Maybe Austin was drafted higher than those he is close to – and even a lot who aren’t as close to Austin – expected. His rookie contract will bring with it riches but Austin said it’s money that others seem to want a part of already.
“Everybody expects a lot of things from you as far as money,” Austin said, according to the team’s Web site. “Everybody wants to be around you. My phone doesn’t stop ringing now. It feels like they’re counting my bank account now. So that’s probably the hardest thing for me right now, just people.
“I’ve got a lot of cousins now. The whole (city of) Baltimore is my cousin now. We’re going to just try to keep focused and let my mother and all of them handle it.”
That is one of the pitfalls that can trap any player as he enters the NFL. Hanger-ons can be detrimental to a player getting work done as well as a player’s future. Austin wrapped up rookie minicamp and he was busy learning the offense and participating on special teams. He’s preparing to move to St. Louis and it’s been a whirlwind since the draft a little more than two weeks ago.
“There’s a little (bit of) high expectations for me because I went No. 8, but at the same time when I come up here I just have fun and pretty much try to do always what I do,” Austin said. “The No. 1 thing is to come up here and make some plays.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune