Defensive lineman Kevin Givens’ future became uncertain during the offseason after his February arrest on a charge of second-degree assault.
Givens’ situation now has been resolved, and he is seen as an important member of the 49ers’ defensive line rotation. The charge, stemming from a Feb. 22 incident in Baltimore, recently was dropped.
Now that Givens' status is known, the 49ers are expecting big things from him as he enters his third NFL season.
First-year defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans was asked Wednesday about which players he envisions taking big steps forward in 2021, Givens was the first name he mentioned.
“I think when you talk about young players who are on the verge of breaking out, I look at a young guy like Kevin Givens and the way he's been working,” Ryans said. “It's been outstanding to see him work. He's getting better and better each day.”
Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and linebacker Dre Greenlaw were the other players Ryans said he believes will have breakout seasons in 2021.
Earlier this offseason, Givens also received praise from teammate D.J. Jones, who commented on Givens’ quickness at the snap of the ball.
“He’s a twitch guy,” Jones said. “Nobody’s talking about him, but they will be soon.”
Givens has been a full participant in the 49ers’ offseason program after his court case was removed from the District Court for Baltimore’s criminal system. He originally was scheduled for an April 26 trial before the case was dismissed.
Givens, 24, signed with the 49ers as an undrafted rookie from Penn State in 2019. He spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad before a promotion to the active roster late in the season. He appeared in one regular-season game but was inactive for each of the 49ers’ three games in the postseason.
In 2020, Givens appeared in 13 games with one start. He registered 19 tackles, including five for losses, one quarterback sack and a fumble recovery.