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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Tavon Austin could be playmaker to replace Wes Welker for the Patriots

If New England lets Welker walk, or even if they don't, the versatile Austin might make the New England offense scarier than it already is.

Ronald Martinez

The New England Patriots don't have any trouble scoring points. They were first in the NFL in scoring last season at 34.8 points per game, and as long as Tom Brady is there and healthy, it should continue that way. But Wes Welker is an unrestricted free agent, and some wonder if he's going to be allowed to walk over the offseason as it seems the Patriots have been reluctant to give him a big contract.

After all, Welker was a low-key signing from the Dolphins when he first got to New England. Could his role be replaced with another low-key signing (Brian Hartline and Danny Amendola are free agents) or better yet, would they be able to get even better by drafting a playmaker in the first round of April's draft? The most well-known "athlete" in the draft this year seems to be WR Tavon Austin out of West Virginia. He's been mocked to New England a lot during the offseason, and Josh Norris from Rotoworld is no different in his latest projections for the draft:

The Patriots need more speed offensively, and with Wes Welker likely remaining a major storyline of the offseason, Austin would be an excellent replacement. No one is better in the open field with the ball in his hands and Austin is a creative coordinator’s dream.

The Pats playmakers are not currently getting any younger either. Welker and Brandon Lloyd will be 32 next season and no other wide receiver came close to their production. Are the Pats going to re-sign Welker and continue to load up at the position in the draft, especially with Julian Edelman also hitting free agency?

It doesn't seem like a bad idea, even for the league's highest-scoring team.