We can sum up the consensus on the Rams' rookie wide receivers pretty quickly.
While fourth-round draft pick Chris Givens has given the offense its first legitimate home-run threat in eons, Brian Quick, the first of three second-round picks last April, has had a much more difficult time making his presence felt.
Givens has wasted no time emerging as a big-play threat, setting a league rookie record with a 50-yard reception in five consecutive games. Now, if he can become more of a factor on shorter, intermediate routes during the second half of the season, the Rams believe they could have themselves a special player in the making.
“He’s really improving in the short-to-intermediate routes,” Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said of Givens. “We’ve just got to get the ball to him. One of his long plays was a quick screen, and he’s that explosive, he just hit the crease and made a big play for us.”
Our Rams sources tell us Givens has worked extremely hard to establish a chemistry with QB Sam Bradford, who has been impressed with the rookie’s desire to be much more than just a speed receiver.
“I think that’s one of the greatest things about him,” Bradford said. “He stays afterward every day to work on his routes, to throw with me. … I think it’s only a matter of time before he can do everything.”
As for Quick, the feeling is that more playing time might be hard to come by, although he is expected to get more opportunities than he did the first half of the season.
“I can’t put my finger on what the problem has been with him,” one team insider said. “He just looked lost in the London game (in Week Eight). If you make the analogy to baseball, he’s like a player 80 games into a season with 25 at-bats.
“At this stage of the season, it could be real hard for him to catch up.”