The Rams started off the third day of the NFL draft the same way they started off the second day.
With the 96th pick overall, they selected Wake Forest WR Chris Givens, another relatively under-the-radar receiver who will hopefully give their passing offense a major lift.
On Friday, the Rams started off the draft by selecting fleet-footed Appalachian State WR Brian Quick, a player they have been quietly drooling over for weeks now. They believe Quick can quickly get up to speed in a a big way, despite his small-school background.
Givens doesn’t project quite the "wow" factor that Quick does, but he was the focal point of the Wake Forest passing game and shapes up as a more complementary receiver who can line up inside at flanker and provide clutch catches when called upon.
Memo to Rams 2011 rookie WRs Greg Salas and Austin Pettis: Watch your backs with Givens immediately expected to push you deeper down the depth chart.
But like the Rams’ first four picks in this year’s draft, Givens has some baggage that can’t be ignored.
While his character issues are nowhere near as scary as those offered by Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson, the two talented but tainted cornerbacks selected by the Rams on the second day of the draft, Givens apparently thinks he’s a lot better than he really is, according to some talent evaluators.
Having a lot of confidence is not necessarily a bad thing, but Givens’ body language sends mixed signals, as does his lack of toughness and so-so competitiveness.
That said, Givens is another pick that offers more boom than bust potential for a team that deserves a solid "B" for their drafting efforts up to now.
With five of the first 96 picks in the draft, they not only have bolstered their biggest need, which was to to fortify its WR corps. They also have added depth and tremendous competition at cornerback, a position that was an injury-plagued mess last season, with the selections of Jenkins and Thompson, and provided workhorse RB Steven Jackson with a badly-needed change-of-pace backup in Isaiah Pead, who could get more touches than you might think.
Where do they go from there?
The suggestion here is that they shift their focus to linebacker, considering that they only had four players signed at that position entering the draft.