Ravens: Will Chris Givens fill their need for a deep threat receiver?


Sep 20, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Chris Givens (19) is tackled by Washington Redskins inside linebacker Keenan Robinson (52) during the second half at FedEx Field. The Washington Redskins won 24 – 10. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Things haven’t exactly gotten off to a great start for the Baltimore Ravens in 2015, and the sudden lack of depth at the wide receiver position is a big reason why.  Outside of Steve Smith, who is currently battling a back injury, there are zero consistent options in the passing game.

For years, Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense had the luxury of one of the NFL’s better deep threat receivers, Torrey Smith, running out routes and clearing things up underneath.  Even if Smith wasn’t making a big play, he was drawing a pass interference flag or clearing defenders out for short completions.

With Smith leaving to join the San Francisco 49ers, the Ravens used their 2015 1st round draft pick on Breshad Perriman, a bigger and faster version of Smith.  But with Perriman set to miss an undetermined amount of time with a knee injury that just won’t heal properly, the Ravens had a massive void at receiver.

Enter Chris Givens, who the Ravens shipped a conditional draft pick to the Rams in exchange for.  A 25 year old deep threat entering his 4th season, Givens is a talented former 4th round pick with the intangibles and measurables to fill a huge need for the team.

Givens has good size at 5’11” and 203 pounds, as well as 4.41 speed.  Even though he spent 3 years catching passes from a variety of journeymen quarterbacks in St. Louis, he has racked up 88 receptions for 1,433 yards (16.3 avg) and 4 touchdowns across 48 games.

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Chris Givens is a straight line speedster, but his contributions slowly declined following a promising rookie season when he caught 42 passes for 698 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Givens was simply misused and never given much of a chance as the Rams annually rotate their receiving corps, looking for the right combination.

At worse, Givens is a proven deep threat who should be able to almost immediately help the Ravens, who just need healthy (preferably fast) bodies right now.  At best, he might turn into a heck of a player with a viable quarterback and adequate targets.

The change of scenery and a fresh start should work wonders for the still-young Chris Givens. Even if he never reaches the level of a Torrey Smith, he figures to give Joe Flacco another talented, speedy, and big bodied receiver to throw to.  I’m betting that his talent will lead to good things for the Ravens’ offense moving forward.

Next: Brandon Williams quietly having a breakout season

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