The New England Patriots used their top selection, a third round pick, on Derek Rivers from Youngstown State. Rivers spent his college career terrorizing quarterbacks, and was expected to do much of the same in Foxboro. Rivers, who was already a hot name in small school draft circles, really boosted his stock with an outstanding showing at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
Bill Belichick has never been afraid of throwing the dice on small school prospects, and generally comes out on the winning side. Though Rivers is an exceptional prospect athletically, the question was if his skill set was translatable. He was showing his ability in joint practices with the Houston Texans, dragging down Tom Savage for a sack at one point. In an unfortunate turn of events, the former Youngstown State defensive end went down with a knee injury while covering a kickoff. Though he walked off the field under his own power, it was later determined Rivers had torn his ACL and sprained his LCL. It looks like he may be lost for the season, whch depletes an already thin position for the Patriots. They will probably look to upgrade their depth, via trade or a signing.
Though its a tough pill to swallow for the young rookie, Derek Rivers is a hard worker and is devout in his faith. Expect this young man to battle back, and be better than he was prior to the injury. Speedy recovery Derek.
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