Monday, August 15, 2016, 8:34pm
The longest reception by an Eagles wideout went for 10 yards in their opening preseason game. It belonged to Paul Turner, an undrafted rookie from Louisiana Tech, who also was the team's leading receiver for the evening, with six catches for 34 yards.
The two longest receptions went to tight ends - 19 yards to Zach Ertz and 16 to M.J. McFarland. With Jordan Matthews sidelined by a knee injury, the field was wide open for 2015 No. 1 pick Nelson Agholor, 2014 third-round pick Josh Huff, former Giants second-round pick Rueben Randle, or former Rams and Ravens starter Chris Givens to step up and make a case.
None of them did. Turner was the lone bright spot. Eagles quarterbacks passed for 114 yards, with several drops.
The Eagle receivers couldn't get a lot of separation against the Bucs. Randle played uninspired, admitting camp has taken a toll on him. Agholor played 32 snaps and was target twice but didn't catch a pass. This is an area to watch for potential fantasy owners to hopefully see some improvement in their next contest. Outside of Matthews, there isn't a lot of excitement from a fantasy standpoint right now.
In some ways, Chris Givens is the exact kind of receiver that the Andy Reid version of the West Coast Offense has utilized since the big guy entered the NFL’s head coaching ranks in 1999.
In his first two years in Kansas City, Reid didn’t have an all-around receiver better than Jordan Matthews (sorry, Dwayne Bowe), but he did have at least one guy who could run straight down the field and draw safety help. You've probably heard it referred to as the 'X' receiver, i.e., the guy who lines up on the line of scrimmage on the weak side of the formation, the side without the tight end.
The position of WR is a cause for concern in Philly and outside of Matthews there isn't a ton of fantasy potential right now. But things can change. Givens likely isn't going to be a starter but it seems the team will try to use his speed and mix him in with Agholor and Randle on the outside with Matthews mostly in the slot.
Matthews will spend the bulk of his time lining up from the slot, but he still sees time on the outside.
There’s competition for the “X” receiver spot, which is the DeSean Jackson-receiver role in Andy Reid’s offense. That guy is ideally the game-breaker, the outside receiver the quarterback needs to rely on the most because he typically starts on the short side of the field. Givens has the most speed of the group. Agholor has the most riding on his success. Randle may have the most talent of the three.
Huff’s role may morph. He’s received a lot of screens over the last week.
The big question is who plays on the outside. The Birds have rotated WRs in the past but it seems like the team hopes Agholor and Randle earn the outside jobs with Givens speed getting mixed in. Overall it's not an impressive group but, as they say, someone will have to catch the balls. Factor in a slower-paced offense, and the Eagles just don't have a lot of highly-desired fantasy weapons.
Nelson Agholor was active. The Eagles (desperately?) need him to elevate his play in his sophomore season. They would love for Agholor to develop into a home run hitter, but I’m not sure that he’s a receiver who can consistently take the lid off a secondary. But he has looked smoother running a variety of other routes. He caught an early seam pass from Carson Wentz, a post in the middle of a zone from Sam Bradford and, in perhaps his best moment, caught a comeback throw after he had turned cornerback Eric Rowe around. If Agholor can’t be a consistent deep threat, the Eagles might need to turn to free-agent addition Chris Givens during the season.
Agholor was a 5th round fantasy pick, and failed miserably to live up to that billing. The Eagles' offense is going to run at a much slower pace this year under new HC Doug Pederson, so it's an offense that will have difficulty supporting more than Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz as bona fide fantasy starters.
Friday, April 1, 2016, 9:18pm
"I felt like it was a better opportunity for me here to showcase my talents on a one-year deal to go out there and prove myself," Randle said. "It's a new start for everyone, new coaching staff, new start for me as well."
Even though the 6-2, 208-pound Randle is only 24 years old, he along with another new addition in Chris Givens are the most experienced receivers on the team.
"I can come out here and help those guys be better players. It's not all about me," Randle said. "I'm willing to help my teammates out and get those guys better as well so with my veteran presence I can lead the group a little bit and maybe get some things started here in the receiving corps."
While the depth chart in the team's weekly release is considered unofficial, this is an indication that Givens should be considered the frontrunner over Marlon Brown and Jeremy Ross in taking over Steve Smith's starting spot.
"Every time he has gotten in the game, he has made plays," Flacco said. "I think guys see that, guys react well to that. I think he’s becoming one of us."
It's evident Flacco already has more chemistry with Givens. In the last game, Flacco's 18-yard pass to Givens on a back-shoulder throw jumpstarted the winning drive.
“He’s starting to feel it a little bit,” coach John Harbaugh said. “He and Joe [Flacco] are starting to develop something, an understanding for one another.”
Givens showed a lot of promise as a rookie for the Rams in 2012, gaining at least 50 yards in seven of eight games during a midseason stretch. St. Louis had major issues at quarterback in 2013 and 2014, and Givens fell behind Kenny Britt, Brian Quick and Tavon Austin on the team's depth chart over the past two seasons. Now the 4.41 speedster is going to see major snaps for Ravens with a quarterback who throws a nice deep ball. In his career, Givens has seen five-plus targets in 16 games and has averaged 3.5 catches for 54 yards and 0.12 TD in those games. He's not likely to set the world on fire, but it's feasible that he posts WR4 numbers the rest of the way.
Friday, October 16, 2015, 6:15pm
“Chris will be a part of what we’re doing on Sunday,” Harbaugh said “How much he plays depends on how well he does. I’m really hopeful that he plays a lot. It will be up to him to learn what we’re doing.”
“It’s been a limited time,” Harbaugh said. “I think he had a good practice yesterday, it was a walk-through practice. He looked good. He’s working on learning the offense. That’s the main thing right now. He’s working on making sure he knows what to do, where to line up and be in the right spot for Joe [Flacco] when the time counts.”
The Rams have reportedly traded WR Chris Givens to the Baltimore Ravens on the back of the news that WR Brian Quick is set to make his 2015 debut after three weeks among the inactives and the addition of an extra WR on the practice squad in recently signed Nick Toon.
With Givens the seeming impediment ahead of Quick on the depth chart, who knows what has gone down inside the front office in dealing with the wide receivers over the last month.
Givens was a fourth-round selection for the Rams in the RGII trade-boosted 2012 NFL Draft who was in his contract year with free agency looming in the 2016 offseason.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 11:56am
When it comes to Rams receivers, Kenny Britt isn't the only one with something to prove. Brian Quick, who flashed some promise in the first half of 2014, is recovering from shoulder surgery that prevented him from enjoying a potential breakout season. Quick figures to be the other starter opposite Britt on the outside if and when he returns to full strength.
Beyond that duo, the Rams have a pair of former West Virginia Mountaineers still looking to break out in Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. That pair will likely battle for playing time in the slot. Chris Givens, who might be in his final go-around with the team if he's unable to offer more in 2015, projects as the fifth wideout.
While it's not an impressive group in terms of potential fantasy numbers and rankings, the team hopes having stability at QB with Nick Foles will help the passing game. There were also heavy investments made in the offensive line - and at running back with draft pick Todd Gurley. As a result, the story said, the Rams believe this is the year for at least one or two of the wideouts they've been so patient with to emerge. The offense figures to be run-first, so the Rams don't need a wideout to post stud numbers, the team instead needs receivers to make big plays when presented with an opportunity.
Thomas' Tweet also said Quick isn't sure of the severity of the injury. It wasn't a pretty offensive display by the Rams but Kenny Britt did catch two balls for 52 yards to lead the way. Tavon Austin and Chris Givens could have increased roles if Quick were to miss time as could Stedman Bailey.
It's not a surprise, but Zac Stacy is active and will play against the 49ers on Monday night. He was listed as probable heading into this contest. The 49ers are the top team in allowing fantasy points to RBs, so this isn't a great matchup. On top of that, it looks like Benny Cunningham will steal some work.
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