According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Denver Broncos are having a pre-draft visit/workout with Youngstown State linebacker/edge rusher, Derek Rivers this week.
OLB Derek Rivers busy - at #Broncos #Steelers this wk, #Bills #Patriots #Saints next. Privates w/ Pats #Cowboys. Intriguing pass-rush option— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) April 6, 2017
Rivers is a 6-4, 248lb edge rusher who is considered one of the better edge rushing prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft. CBS's draft expert Dane Brugler has Rivers slated as a second round pick and ranked as the 10th best edge rusher in this year's deep class.
Rivers played four seasons at Youngstown State and put up some dominant numbers. During his four-year career, he totaled 173 tackles, 56.5 tackles for a loss, 37.5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. This past season, Rivers totaled 58 tackles, 19.5 tackles for a loss, 14 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.
This performance from Rivers earned him an invitation to the Senior Bowl. While at Mobile, Rivers showed off his talent and greatly improved his stock after the week of practices and the game on that Saturday.
How about this first step by Derek Rivers? Kid has something pic.twitter.com/0JkZFtESIK— Daniel Parlegreco (@DTPDraftScout) January 20, 2017
Rivers says one of his biggest strengths is his speed and explosiveness off the snap that allows him to get past offensive tackles and into the backfield.
"I’d say one of my strengths, as far as pass rushing goes, is my speed. I love speed rushing and something that counters off of it, I have a pretty good power rush as well. So when you mix it up – pass rushing is all about strategy – so when you beat somebody with speed, you come back with a counter or power, it knocks the offensive linemen off their heels."
The Broncos do have a slight need at the edge rushing unit after the retirement of veteran and future Hall Of Famer DeMarcus Ware. That leaves the Broncos with All-Pro Von Miller, former first-round pick Shane Ray, and Shaquil Barrett at the edge rusher position.
Now do not get me wrong, the Broncos still have one of the better and deepest edge rushing units in the league, but could still look to add depth and keep one of the strongest parts of their dominant defenses even stronger.
If the Broncos want Rivers they will likely have to select him with their second round pick, pick 51(If he even lasts that long). I personally do not see the Broncos addressing the edge rushing position that early in the draft, but if they did select Rivers, he would be an excellent addition to an already strong group of edge rushers for the Broncos.
To view all the prospects the Broncos have shown some sort of interest in during the draft process check out Mile High Report's Draft Interest Tracker here.