Training camp for the San Francisco 49ers begins on July 26 and, if one thing is sure, it’s that there is no shortage of depth along the defensive line - especially with the additions of Nick Bosa and Dee Ford. They join a line that already boasts the likes of Solomon Thomas, Arik Armstead, and DeForest Buckner. Is there any room for an undrafted free agent to make the final 53-man roster? May I submit to you one name to keep an eye on this summer: Kevin Givens.
At a Glance
College: Penn State Position: Defensive tackle Height: 6’1” Weight: 285 lbs Career statistics (college): 83 total tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 13.5 sack
Strengths and Weaknesses
Kevin Givens, if anything, is a versatile defender who has seen plenty of time at every spot along the defensive line. He has shown a knack for gaining consistent leverage against opposing linemen. Givens has also exhibited efficiency in his movements and has good quickness when it comes to his hands. One major knock on him, though, is his lack of size - he was pushed around, for example, against the interior linemen of Wisconsin because, well, they’re just big dudes.
The interesting thing is that he was graded as a 6th/7th round prospect heading into the draft which means there’s little-to-no risk for the 49ers to take a flyer on a guy who stands a chance at making the squad and staying with the team for a few seasons.
Odds of Making the Team
I would say that, of the group of undrafted rookies, he stands a reasonably decent shot of still being on the roster come Week 1. Again, he was criticized throughout the draft process for his small stature and lack of overall mass, but we’ve seen players like that succeed in the past. Given the talent the Niners have on defense already it seems like a good situation for him to grow and learn the game and become a capable rotational player for years to come.