NFL teams love wide receiver prospects who can line up on the outside or in the slot. One such prospect in this year’s class is former Rice pass-catcher Austin Trammell, who had a big 2020 season.
Despite the severe impact the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had on Rice’s schedule, Trammell found a way to turn in some great numbers by recording six touchdowns in just three games while averaging more than 110 yards per game and 21 yards per catch.
Trammell spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his senior campaign, how he answers the small school question, and why an NFL team should take a chance on him in this year’s draft.
JM: You had a big 2020 season despite only playing in three games. You scored a career-best six touchdowns. You did a lot of great things during your senior season. How do you look back on your final campaign?
AT: It was a tough year. We only played five games due to the impact COVID-19 had on our season. I only played in three of those games. It was a crazy year for all involved. I’m glad I made the most of it.
We got some great QB play in 2020. Mike Collins did a terrific job for us. He’s the real deal. Before him, I played with 10 different quarterbacks at Rice. Finally having a legit QB out there made the world of a difference. It really showed what I could do.
JM: Did you say you played with 10 different quarterbacks at Rice?
AT: Yeah (laughs). 10 quarterbacks in four years. It’s unheard of. It’s a little insane.
JM: That’s wild. You definitely took off with Collins as your QB. You averaged 21 yards per catch in 2020. That’s nearly 10 more yards per catch than your previous career-high. I’m sure you credit some of this to the chemistry you two developed, but were there any other reasons for your improvement in this area?
AT: Part of it was definitely the QB play we received in 2020. I’m not going to lie about that. Another thing is that I played on the outside this past season. It just led to bigger plays. Prior to that, most of my experience came out of the slot. We had some guys get hurt and others opted out. That pushed me to the outside on a more consistent basis. I’ve played both in the past, but most of my production before 2020 came out of the slot.
I really flourished on the outside. I was forced to play a position I don’t normally play. I had to make bigger plays for our team. I’m glad it happened. It gave me a chance to show NFL scouts that I can also play outside. I’m a versatile receiver.
JM: That’s terrific. Do you have a favorite route to run?
AT: I have a lot of favorite routes. I really enjoy anything that implements a double move. I feel like I’m really good at selling that first move. I hang my hat on an option route, though. I love running that up the middle. If I have a choice to go either way, I’m getting open. It’s impossible for me not to get open with that. I’m gonna make it work. I’m also gonna get some good yards after catch with that as well.
JM: That’s a great answer. How are you finding this process so far? Have you had discussions with any NFL teams? [Editor’s note: This interview was completed in mid-March.]
AT: I was able to speak with the Atlanta Falcons last week. We had a really great connection. We talked about football and life. We’ve built up a pretty nice relationship. I hope to see it go somewhere.
I have a super late Pro Day. I’ll be performing at Houston’s Pro Day on April 9. That’s the last day of Pro Day’s. I’ll be meeting with more scouts in and around that date. I think I’m gonna raise a lot of eyebrows that day.
JM: That’s a big opportunity for you. Coming out of Rice, it’s inevitable that somebody is going to call you a small-school prospect. It always happens throughout this process. How do you answer that question?
AT: I love it. I’ve been the underdog my entire life. That’s where I thrive. I wanna be underestimated. I know I can do things that any other big school prospect can do. I know my talent. I know what my work ethic looks like. I’m waiting for somebody to take a chance on me. I’m gonna prove a lot of people wrong. I don’t think going to Rice put me at a disadvantage. I learned a lot and I grew a lot as a player. I’m ready for the next level.
JM: That’s the right way to handle that. I’ve appreciated your time today. In closing, why should a team use one of its draft picks on Austin Trammell?
AT: Austin Trammell is going to make your team better. I bring a lot of value to the table. I’m a consistent, dependable guy. I’ve raised the standard of everywhere I’ve been. At the end of the day, I’m going to improve your city, organization, and team. That’s why a team should pick me up.
- Aug 10, 2022
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