Kevin Givens never really got the recognition he deserved during his Penn State career, in large part because he didn’t put up a bunch of huge stats playing in the interior of the defensive line. Givens always caught the attention of opposing defensive coordinators, though, and often was double teamed, opening up opportunities for other linemen to do some damage.
When Givens decided to declare for the draft a year early, many people questioned the decision. When he went undrafted, a lot more people questioned the move.
But Givens was able to find a good home as an undrafted signee with the San Francisco 49ers, and in year two of his NFL career, things have worked out very well so far for the Altoona, Pa., native.
Givens made the first start of his career Sunday against the Rams, and he played a terrific game.
— Jake Hutchinson (@hutchdiesel) November 29, 2020
We 👀 you, Kevin Givens.
▪️ First @NFL Career Start
▪️ Fumble Recovery
▪️ Tackle For Loss
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) November 30, 2020
Givens has always been a good run stuffer, and he’s made his mark doing that with the 49ers to earn more and more playing time.
Check out some of the other recognition Givens has earned in recent days after his strong performance.
The SF 49ers were without starting nose tackle D.J. Jones (reserve/COVID-19 list) for Week 12, and that’s been just one notable shortage along a banged-up defensive line this season.
But worry not, as second-year reserve nose tackle Kevin Givens made his presence felt with an impressive two-tackle, one-quarterback hit performance in his first-ever start at the NFL level.
Givens even recorded a fumble recovery, too.
On the year, Givens has seen a total of 327 defensive snaps (47 percent) and posted a highly respectable 65.9 Pro Football Focus grade in the process. Considering Jones is heading towards free agency next season and the Niners may be hard-pressed to re-sign him, at least they know Givens could be a reliable option on the cheap to possibly fill Jones’ void.
Just started watching the coach's film from the 49ers-Rams game and wow Kevin Givens is the next Bryant Young.
— Grant Cohn (@grantcohn) December 1, 2020
Kevin Givens holy moly. Just blasts through the double team to make the run-stop. Arik Armstead with some good push too.
Kris Kocurek’s development of Givens (a practice squad guy) is paying off in major ways. pic.twitter.com/T7KjP0fM2r
— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) December 1, 2020
On the Rams first drive of the second half, fellow defensive lineman Kevin Givens got a hit on Goff as the quarterback released the ball, when Kinlaw came down with the pass and returned it 27 yards for his first-career defensive touchdown.