Downtown Rams Draft Profile: Youngstown State DE Derek Rivers

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Our new massive series here at Downtown Rams will give you players that catch our eye. We will bring you bring you draft prospects, see where their fit is with the Rams and of course give you a player comparison.

Who is the 6-foot-4, 248 pound LB Derek Rivers? 

Derek Rivers is a freak of nature linebacker from Youngstown State. He was a three year stater and the all-time sack leader in the schools history. His sacks total, doubled the amount of the next closest player on the list. He impressed scouts at the NFL Combine posting a 4.61 in the 40 yard dash, 30 bench press reps, 35″ vertical, and 6.94 seconds in the three cone drill, where he finished in the top five of all these categories. 

 

Strengths 

Plays every down with a high motor. 

Very flexible for his size and has a natural bend to dip around the corner.

Engages blockers with punch under linemen shoulders to create leverage from the edge.

Uses his hands well to prevent blockers, with a second move and shows different techniques.

Very strong hands and wrists to allow him to finish tackles.

Has a tremendous jump from a three point stance and has a great burst from the edge.

When rushing dips low to push himself around the blockers 

Good speed and strength to bull rush blockers back into the backfield. 

Great fit for a 3-4 scheme as a stand up linebacker on the next level. 

Good feet and balance to avoid blockers in pursuit of ball carrier.

Plays the run well remaining alert to maintain his outside containment.  

 

Weaknesses

Undersized as a NFL defensive end may need to bulk up with 20 pounds of muscle. 

Need to improve with his point of attack to be effective at the next level.

Seems to get lost when tracking inside runs causing to be sealed by other blocker. 

Needs to develop better techniques with double teams knocking him out of plays.

Needs to remain focus on the run to play action and rely on his peripheral vision

Would benefit more on pass rush anticipating snap counts. 

Need to develop more pass rush moves to prevent linemen to anticipate his next moves.

Need to break the habit of dropping his head after engaging contact which leads to losing ball carrier.

Has shown weakness when matched up against bigger linemen.

 

How does he fit with the Rams?

Derek Rivers plays with a high motor when on the field, especially pursuing quarterbacks. With his speed, size, and strength, he will be great coming off the edge, playing behind two great ends, Connor Barwin and Robert Quinn. Understanding the schemes at the next level, he can become a great replacement for Barwin, if the Rams don’t resigned him next season.

Draft Grade

2nd-3rd Round 

 

Player Comparison 

Jabaal Sheard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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