Chris Givens and 5 Other Rookies Breaking out Near NFL's Midseason Mark
Some rookies, like Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins, said hello to the professional football world in a big way extremely early in their careers. While Week 6 is still early, a handful of other guys sent some delayed greetings to NFL opponents and fans.
Chris Givens of the St. Louis Rams was one of those late arrivals to the party, but when he showed up, things got a lot more exciting in the Rams’ offense.
The wide receiver was shut out of his first two games with the Rams before catching two balls for a ho-hum nine yards against the Chicago Bears in Week 3.
He followed those up with 50-plus yard catches in each of the three consecutive weeks.
Givens hauled in one catch for 52 yards Week 4 against the Seahawks, another for a 51-yard touchdown Week 5 at home against the Arizona Cardinals and three balls for 85 yards in Week 6 in Miami against the Dolphins.
Here are a few other rookies who have been doing some notable things lately.
Vontaze Burfict, LB, Cincinnati Bengals
The undrafted linebacker from Arizona State has found his way into the starting lineup for the Bengals as a rookie. He’s accumulated at least six total tackles in each of his team’s last four games, including an eight-solo effort against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4.
He also recorded a sack and a stuff in that game.
Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants
Randle wasn’t around to make a catch in Week 6 during the Giants’ commanding win over the San Francisco 49ers. But with Hakeem Nicks out in Week 5, Randle brought in six passes for 82 yards against the Cleveland Browns.
He’s still pretty far down the team’s depth chart (behind Nicks, Victor Cruz and Domenik Hixon), but we now know the dude can play pretty well.
Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami Dolphins
As a member of the Dolphins, Vernon has seen his fair share of thrilling games to begin his NFL career. He was a key participant in a couple of them.
In a Week 4 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Vernon forced two fumbles. Against his second NFC West opponent, the St. Louis Rams, Vernon sacked quarterback Sam Bradford twice in Week 6.
David Wilson, RB, New York Giants
Wilson was in the national spotlight during the first game of the 2012 NFL season. He rushed the ball two times and fumbled on his second carry.
He spent the next 3.75 games in head coach Tom Coughlin’s proverbial doghouse.
Allowed to see the offensive field again in earnest during Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns, Wilson responded with a 40-yard touchdown on one of his two carries. He followed that up with seven carries for 35 yards against the San Francisco 49ers’ celebrated defense.
Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans
Wright had as many catches in the Titans’ Week 3 win over the Detroit Lions (seven) as his first two games combined.
And that hasn’t been his highest reception total.
In the last three weeks, Wright has caught four, nine and six passes against the Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively. Those are some pretty reputable defenses.
Wright has increased his yardage output from week to week, every game this season, except one. He should have his first 100-yard game sooner rather than later.