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Chris Givens came into Rams camp with much less fanfare than his rookie counterpart, Brian Quick. Throw in the return of Danny Amendola and the free-agent signing of former Pro Bowler Steve Smith, and Rams fans had many other WRs to look for before considering Givens.
That's our loss.
Givens was very impressive this preseason for the Rams. Givens caught four balls for 50 yards and returned four kickoffs for an average of just under 30 yards (long of 44 yards).
Givens' speed is a wonderful addition to the Rams' receiving corps. That was shown last week against Baltimore, when Givens drew a pass-interference penalty downfield against a slower defensive back.
Solid performances for a rookie fourth-rounder, especially considering the last fourth round wideout the Rams picked, Mardy Gilyard. I'd grade Givens at a C-plus.
Jeff Fisher has been slow to put Givens with the starting offense. As recently as the Dallas game, Givens' playing time was minimized to almost nothing.
The Rams' receiving corps is taking shape, with the trade of Greg Salas and Austin Pettis' two-game suspension.
Now is the time for Givens to make an impact. No one believes Givens will ride the bench all season, but he needs to take advantage of the opportunities as they arise.
Over the last five years, rookie WRs selected in the fourth round have averaged about 35 receptions and 450 yards in their first seasons.
Fisher hasn't had much luck with rookie wide receivers. Only one (Kenny Britt) had more than 23 receptions or more than 301 yards in their first seasons.
I think Givens will have his moments this year, but I'm not expecting him to push Amendola, Brandon Gibson or Quick for playing time with the starters. Special teams offers Givens his best chance to make an impact for the Rams this year.