04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Rams' picks: Round 4/96 - Chris Givens, WR, 5-11, 198, Wake Forest...Has game-breaking speed and natural pass-catching ability, which was evident in his 2011 season that produced 83 receptions for 1,330 yards and nine touchdowns. - The Sports Xchange
Givens came out of high school as an outstanding track star and running back, which was a precursor to the dazzling showmanship he displayed as a receiver, returner and running back at Wake Forest.
He also came out of high school with a history of two separate ACL injuries, reflecting a durability concern that he brings with him in to the draft. But he still has impressive speed and is strong for his size, as he showed at the Scouting combine with a 40-yard time of 4.35 seconds and 19 reps with 225 pounds on the bench.
In his three-year college career, Givens caught 163 passes for 2,473 yards and 21 touchdowns; rushed 45 times for 238 yards and two touchdowns and averaged 19.33 yards on kickoff returns and 12.5 yards on punt returns.
He seems to be a candidate for the slot position, where his speed should be a difficult matchup. However, while his speed and ability to get open are not a concern, he is not consistent as a receiver. He sometimes makes difficult catches appear easy, but then drops passes he should catch, as he did in the Music City Bowl. Givens sat out the 2010 season opener after violating team rules.
Strengths: Very quick and elusive, excellent change of direction and acceleration, especially for a former track star. Has good trajectory assessment and will adjust route to where ball is thrown. Good effort and technique as a blocker for size. Can beat the press with either elusiveness or physical contact. Runs crisp routes with sharp cuts. Smart, productive, durable - top intangibles.
Weaknesses: Hands are good, not great. Will drop some easy balls, and sometimes will body catch. Occasionally fails to high point. Did not have a strong game in final outing during the Music City Bowl vs. Mississippi State, and was not overly productive against top competition.
NFL Comparison: Nate Washington - Tennessee Titans