Get to know a rookie: Austin Franklin

June, 25, 2014
Jun 25
8:00
AM ET
We’ve officially reached the closest thing to a dead period the NFL has to offer these days as organized team activities are over and training camp has not yet arrived.

That means vacation time for the players, coaches and, yes, reporters. In the meantime, let’s get to know some of the lesser-known additions to the Rams roster: the rookie free agents.

Austin Franklin

Position: Wide receiver

College: New Mexico State

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 189 pounds

Stat to know: Franklin was at his best in games against top competition, posting a combined 17 catches for 299 yards and two touchdowns against Auburn and Boston College. Although he missed time because of an academic suspension in 2013, Franklin's career numbers are quite impressive even if they didn't garner him much attention. All told, he finished his college career with 160 catches for 2,439 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Road to the roster: While the Rams always have room for more playmakers, it's going to be tough for any undrafted rookie wideout to crack the roster. There might be at least a sliver of hope, though, because of the four-game suspension for roster lock Stedman Bailey. As it stands, the Rams have a group that includes Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, Kenny Britt, Austin Pettis, Brian Quick and Bailey that are likely to earn roster spots assuming the Rams keep six at the position. In the meantime, the Rams could give a long look to the rest of the wideouts on the roster to hold down Bailey's spot until he returns. T.J. Moe, Justin Veltung and Emory Blake are among those also jockeying for position. Franklin is an intriguing prospect who has drawn comparisons to Indianapolis' T.Y. Hilton. It will be tough for him to land on the 53 but he's a name to keep an eye on as preseason games begin.

Nick Wagoner

ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter

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