Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/22/13
With Wes Welker headed toward free agency and Brandon Lloyd‘s future still very much uncertain in New England, the Patriots have a need at wide receiver. So, this year’s NFL draft may be just the place for them to load up at the position. One player that could pique the Patriots’ interest is West Virginia wideout Tavon Austin. Austin closely resembles Welker, both in size (5-foot-9) and skill set (quick, shifty, possession receiver), which the Patriots may look upon with a keen eye heading into April’s draft. Austin said during his first day at the NFL combine that he has yet to meet with the Patriots, but he did mention he was “hopeful” while addressing his longstanding admiration for the franchise. “I grew up a ravens fan but I like the Patriots, too,” Wilson said, according to Nick Underhill of Mass Live. His appreciation of the franchise is a nice tidbit to the story, but his talent will truly decide whether the Patriots are interested. Austin has no doubt that they and the rest of the NFL will be impressed. “Pound for pound I am the best all-around player in the NFL Draft,” Austin said according to Fox Sports Jamie Newberg. In thinking about the Patriots, Austin even referenced Welker as the No. 1 slot receiver in football. But when comparing himself to the Patriots’ reliable receiver, Austin wasn’t conceding anything. “I think I’m a little bit faster than Wes,” Austin added, according to CSNNE’s Mary Paoletti. Austin will be a hot commodity over the next few days, and if he runs anywhere near the 4.29 he’s suggested then his draft stock will certainly boom. Photo via Facebook/Tavon Austin

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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