Keep your eye on Chris Givens, the St. Louis Rams rookie wide receiver. Watching Tuesday's practice, few players made as much of an impression on me as the fourth-round pick out of Wake Forest. He looked better than billed coming into the draft, and he could bring another, long missing dimension to the team's offense.
Whenever there was a ball being thrown, it seemed like Givens was there to catch it. That is not the reality, of course, as there were no shortage of players catching balls in practice. When the throw was coming his way, Givens can make the catch look easy, though he did have one notable drop.
He was at his best with the ball in his hands, where he moved around corners and safeties with a natural flow. As is so often pointed out in the days after the NFL Combine, 40 times do not necessarily translate on the field. I did not see Givens running many pure straight lines. Fine with me. His speed translates into an elusiveness that he uses to get around defenders, like he did Janoris Jenkins and other defensive backs in practice.
A tenth of a second matters with a guy like Givens, because he can make a difference with that much time, or that little time as it were.
Givens has made the most of his time since camp started, just as Jeff Fisher predicted.
"Chris (Givens) and Brian (Quick), both of them have a real good feel for what we're doing," Fisher said the day before veterans reported to camp. "I expect to see a lot more out of them once the numbers increase and they're fresh and things, but both of them are making plays and that's important."
Quick has had much of the attention in part because of his draft status and the team's lofty praise for him in April. He has the talent to be a very good starter, but has taken some time to get adjusted, as many predicted.
Givens just seems to be a little further ahead.