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Cowboys Draft: DE Derek Rivers Proves He Is Worth A First Round Pick

Youngstown State is quickly becoming my favorite choice for the pick of the .

At the 2017 NFL Combine, Rivers further cemented himself as a real prospect with a chance to be a solid professional player for a long time. Rivers, who finished the with 14 and 58 tackles, ran a 4.61 40 yard dash this weekend, fourth amongst defensive linemen.

While some have questions about Rivers' power and game strength, his 30 bench press reps of 225 pounds was also the fourth highest for his position group.

The numbers look pretty, but to be quite honest his tape already speaks for itself. Over at Slant Sports I wrote up a report on Rivers' film, and ended up giving him a first round grade as time passed. While he may be coming from a small school, I see no reason why his traits and abilities to get after the will not transfer to the next level.

On tape, Rivers explosiveness is off the charts. His first step is as good as just about anyone in this deep class, and his ability to hand fight and win with outside rush moves is impressive.

Rivers shows the ability to convert speed to power in , remains balanced throughout his rush, and always looks to have a plan. He has active hands, an explosive speed rush, and impressive inside counter moves.

Against the run, Rivers remains disciplined and patient when reading his keys. A balanced player with good body control, Derek Rivers flashes the ability to beat offensive tackles across their face, and track plays down the line of scrimmage to make tackles.

There is literally only one concern that you could have about drafting Derek Rivers in the first round, and it really has nothing to do with him as a player. The fact that he comes from a small, Division I-AA school may scare some teams off, but his pass rushing traits are absolutely undeniable.

He is an incredible athlete, as his combine testing further proved. When facing “tougher” competition at the , Derek Rivers showed no signs of being over-matched.

Derek Rivers has become my “pet cat” of the 2017 , and while some fans (like staff writer Sean Martin) are not fully on the Rivers-train, I believe he would be a perfect fit for the Dallas Cowboys.

And yes, I believe that he is absolutely worth a first round pick in this year's NFL Draft.

Kevin Brady
Kevin Brady
Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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Randy Martin

Your pet cat has grown into a pet lion and you have crossed the line into personal infatuation. Someone might take a chance on him in round 2 but he is still a round 3 guy regardless of his combine performance.

James Alipo

What about Jordan Willis, I had to go back and watch more tape every his Combine Performance and this kid is off the charts as well. He actually reminds me of D Ware. 6’4 255lb’s, 34inch Arms, runs 4.53 40, 6.85 on 3 cone, 39inch Vert and he’s just as disruptive on tape if not more so then Rivers. With that said i think both of them will still be available on day 2 because of how deep this draft class is. If Dallas has a CB 1st on there board at pick #28 then i think Rivers or Willis could be there day 2 pick.

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