If it’s one player in 2012 that showed the most promise coming into the 2013 season it was Chris Givens. Unfortunately Chris Givens has been disappointing in 2013 and will need a statement season next year if he wants to continue to be the Rams number one guy.
Last season the Rams drafted Chris Givens with the first pick in the fourth round, not expecting him to emerge like he did. Givens surprised many catching 42 passes for 698 yards and three touchdowns and was the Rams big playmaker on offense having at one point a stretch of five games where he had at least one reception of 50 or more yards.
This season has been a different story for Givens. Part of it may be that Bradford has been out and part of it may be that he is being used differently. Either way Givens has been less effective and fans are wondering where in the world is Chris Givens.
So far this year Givens has 30 receptions for only 493 yards and has yet to score a single touchdown. Givens has not been the same deep threat he was last year either as he has only one reception of over 40 yards and not a single reception of 50 yards or more. In the preseason Givens had two receptions of over 50 yards.
Along with that Givens has six passes that qualified as drops and has a catch percentage of only 44.1%. We don’t usually see sophomore slumps among receivers, but it certainly seems as if this is the case with Givens.
If Givens continues at his current pace he will end up with 657 yards at seasons end which is obviously just short of his 698 yard mark that he met last season. It was predicted by many that Givens could receive for over 1,000 yards in 2013. He has the potential to do so, but like every player in St. Louis he needs to play more consistent.
For receivers, sophomore slumps don’t usually happen, but with Givens we can all hope that is the case. Normally receiver find their way in the league in their first season, then flourish in their second, for Givens he may just be waiting for year number three.
With all of that aside last season was not a fluke for Chris Givens. Givens can and will be a good wide receiver in this league. Chris Givens’ game is revolved around his speed, that’s how he creates plays.
The Rams have not utilized his speed this season by not taking as many shots down the field to him or giving him as many screen plays. The play calling certainly hasn’t helped Givens along with the fact the quarterback with the big arm has been out for the majority of the season. Kellen Clemens doesn’t have the arm strength to go down the field to Givens.
Givens may just be a victim of bad luck and getting over the learning curve. Teams have film on him now and know how to adjust to his speed, now Givens just needs to adjust his game to the defenses.
Givens can still be the number one guy for the Rams, but he will definitely need a big year in 2014 if he wants to continue that position in the future. He just needs to cut down on the drops and play consistent and he can still be our guy.