EDGE Derek Rivers, Youngstown State
- Ideal Size for 3-4 EDGE (6’4″ 250 lb.)
- Size/Speed/Strength Combo
- Explosive Get-Off
- Can Bend w/ Flexibility and Corner
- Flashes a violent Club/Rip
- Violent Tenacity
- High Pad Level
- Loses Gap Responsibility in Run Support
- Slow getting off blocks in the box
- Questionable Level of Competition against Missouri Valley Conference Opponents
The tools are all there on River’s tape, but would you feel comfortable banging the table for a player who didn’t play against a high level competition? My answer would be yes, but the more important question (obviously) is what Pittsburgh feels.
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Rivers is potentially a Round 1 talent that could be had on Day 2 of the Draft, similar to Pittsburgh’s selection of Javon Hargrave in the 3rd Round in 2016. Just by watching a few games of River’s tape you can clearly see the NFL traits jump off the screen.
First of all, Rivers possesses an explosive get off and then shows the ability to bend and flatten his path to the QB at the top of his arc. He routinely finishes with a violent closing burst and simply overmatches Missouri Valley Conference OL with his size, speed, and strength.
Where Rivers needs to improve is dropping his pad level and gaining better leverage at the point of attack. Rivers is largely inconsistent in the run game, and while he flashes the ability to set the edge and hold ground, he is too often blown off his mark because of his leverage issues. Dropping his pad level will also have a trickle down effect on the rest of his game, even adding more strength to his already impressive bull rush.