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Penn State in the NFL

It’s time to start giving Kevin Givens the credit he deserves for solid NFL play

Kevin Givens recovers a fumble against the Rams.

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.

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.

From Niners Nation:

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.


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.

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