Chris Givens deserves to be on the 53-man roster


Coming into this season, there was much debate on whether or not Chris Givens would remain on the St. Louis Rams’ roster after his performance last year. After only totaling 159 receiving yards in 14 games last season, it seemed unlikely he would remain in the blue and gold. It was really disappointing to see such a down year from Givens after his first two years, when he was averaging 634 yards per season. After his performance this preseason, there is a lot to be hopeful about with about Givens.

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It is evident when watching St. Louis that there aren’t a lot of play-makers on the team. With the exception of Tavon Austin, there isn’t really anyone that comes to mind that can really just bust out a huge play. Enter Chris Givens.

During Givens first two years he was averaging almost 17 yards per reception. This ranked Givens 6th in the NFL in 2012 and 2013. That is a pretty substantial number when you consider Givens had a higher yards per reception than Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, and Julio Jones in his first two seasons.

Aside from Austin, Givens is the only wide receiver on the Rams than can burn his man down field, or take the top off zone coverage. This can open up lanes for the run game and for the short, intermediate pass game as well. Givens can also be used as a decoy on the outside against opposing teams.

Another thing to look at also is how the addition of Nick Foles effects Givens. In 2013, Foles got his first crack at starting in the NFL. During that season, Foles led the NFL in YPA, (yards per attempt), with a staggering 9.12. A lot of this might be credited to the offensive system Foles played in, but when you watch Foles play, it never goes without notice just how well he can throw the deep ball.

Whether it be man-to-man or zone coverage with a safety over the top, Foles can throw the deep ball with the best of them. This can only add to Givens’ value on the roster because he can be someone the offense can target on first down and take a shot downfield, or convert 3rd and long situations during the season. Combine Foles’s arm strength and Givens’s speed, and you just might have a tandem to look out for this season.

Lastly, it’s clear Givens has earned himself a spot on this roster after his productive preseason. According to Pro Football Focus, Givens lead the NFL in yards per route this preseason at 6.17. That just shows his explosiveness and how lethal he can be with Foles at them helm. From watching every game this preseason there hasn’t been another wide receiver that has played as good as Givens.

There is a something to be said when you have guys on your team that can erupt or break open a game at anytime and Givens is one of those guys. With the combination of his speed, ability to get off the ball, and how well Foles throws the deep ball, this could be a match made in heaven for the Rams. With the lack of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball expect him to make some big plays this year for the Rams.

Next: Former Ram London Fletcher Speaks Highly of 2015 Rams Roster

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