NFL Draft 2019 Player Profile: defensive tackle Kevin Givens


Penn State football defensive tackle Kevin Givens declared for the NFL Draft after the 2018 season. He enters as an undersized overachiever inside.

After three seasons playing on the Penn State defensive line, defensive tackle Kevin Givens decided to enter the 2019 NFL Draft. Givens started just one complete season up front but made the move to the next level after a solid few seasons in Happy Valley.

One thing that’ll stand out in his favor on draft day is his experience. Givens started just one full season, but he played significant time in each of the previous two, seeing time in a total of 39 games, starting 22 of those. As a redshirt freshman in 2016, he got on the field from day one and helped the Nittany Lions to a 31-9 run over the next three seasons.

2016 STATS: 27 tackles, 7.5 for loss, 5.0 sacks, one pass deflection, two fumble recoveries

2017 STATS: 23 tackles, 4.0 for loss, 3.5 sacks, two PDs, one FR, one forced fumble

2018 STATS: 33 tackles, 10.5 for loss, 5.0 sacks, one pass deflection

His first two seasons looked relatively the same before breaking out for a career year in 2018, where he joined Robert Windsor on the starting defensive interior. A strong finish to his career shows significant progress through the years and what he can do with an increase in reps as a starter.

His 6-foot-1, 285-pound frame makes him a “tweener”, a term used to describe a player that’s in between two positions. Givens is a bit undersized to play inside, unless it’s as a 4-3 defensive tackle. In the same breath, he is a bit too big to play on the outside.

Although his size isn’t ideal for most teams, he moved around the D-Line a few times in college, showing scout that he can play in multiple spots. It also proves his toughness. The three-year letterman can fight through tough situations to come up and make a play in the backfield.

His non-prototypical size comes with a quick burst in spurts that help him track down ballcarriers. He runs a 5.06, 40-yard dash, nothing fantastic, but he’s far from slow.

The obvious negatives here are in many ways the positives I just said. His numerous possibilities across the D-Line leave him without an exact home at the pro level. His small stature can be a detriment against big, physical offensive lineman that can overpower him at times.

Next. Penn State Football Recruiting: Blue-White Game boosts 2020 class. dark

The 39 games played look good on paper but some teams will see his one year as a starter as a lack of real snaps on the field. Now this doesn’t mean someone won’t take a chance on him. According to, he’s expected to be drafted in round 6 or 7 of this year’s NFL Draft.