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April 13, 2012Chris Givens will likely know no later than Saturday, April 28 where he will play professionally, but there is good reason to believe the 6-feet, 204-pound will be informed of his NFL destination much sooner than that.
The wide receiver from Wylie, Texas is confident that he will be taken anywhere from picks 20 to 40.
As a redshirt junior last season Givens caught 83 passes, broke Wake Forest's single season record for receiving yards that was previously owned by Demon Deacon great and NFL journeyman Ricky Proehl with 1,330 yards, and pulled in nine touchdown receptions.
At the NFL Combine Givens ran a 4.35 in the 40-yard dash, and bench-pressed 225 pounds 19 times.
Deacons Illustrated spoke with Givens about his pre-draft preparation.
What are some things that you feel like you did well at the NFL Draft Combine? "I ran well. I competed well in all of my drills. I ran good routes. I didn't drop a ball."
On the process of getting ready for the draft: "It's strenuous; it's a day-to-day grind. I'm a professional now. It's a job now. I have to dedicate my life to being the best athlete that I can be."
Have you been able to work out with any of your teammates? "[Kyle] Wilber, [Josh] Bush and I, we all worked out at the same place [in Miami], so we were kind of together every day."
Did that help? "It sort of helped, because we helped keep each other disciplined and made sure everybody went to bed on time, just all of the little things, just watching out for one another one more time."
What do you think about this younger group of receivers at Wake Forest, and who do you think is emerging? "Sherman Ragland, he's a redshirt freshman this year, [and] Matt James. This is going to be a big year for Terence Davis. I'm really excited for all of those guys. They're working hard. Coach [Lonnie] Galloway has nothing but good things to say about them."
"They're going to work hard. They're going to work their butts off to be the best group they can possibly be this fall."
Did you feel like you were excelling at the combine and were above some of the other guys? "I felt like I excelled in some ways. Honestly, I felt like I excelled in most ways. I really just worked hard preparing myself up until that day and went out there trusting my trainer, and put it all to work."
"I really wasn't paying attention to what too many other guys did. I just wanted to stay focused on myself, and make sure I did everything I possibly could."
Is it hard not to be intimidated in a situation like that? "I wasn't intimidated at all. I was excited for the opportunity to be on the same stage as some of the bigger guys. I just wanted to get out there and show that I was either just as good as them or better."
I remember midway through the season when it became a possibility that you may turn pro early you said that you thought you were the second best wide receiver in the nation behind [Oklahoma State's] Justin Blackmon. Where do think you stand right now? "I still say I'm the second best. In my mind I'm the first best, but obviously with the year Blackmon has had, the two years he's had he's solidified that he's the number one receiver in the draft. Everyone knows that, but right after him honestly I can't say that I would put anyone of those guys over me."
"This is my mentality of how I approach the game. I love the game. I play every game like it's my last, and I know when a team gets me they'll be satisfied with what they get."
It sounds like you're pretty satisfied with the decision that you made. "The whole month of December I was trying to make my decision. Once I was comfortable with my decision I prayed about it, talked it over with my close family, [and] it was just the best decision for me [and] the right time for me to take that next step."