Mychal Rivera Scouting Report

April 1st, 2013

Rivera is a solid later-round prospect with a lot of versatility…and tattoos.

QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF
Prospect: Mychal Rivera, TE, Tennessee
Height: 6’3¼”
Weight: 242 lbs.
Grade: 6.83 (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

-Lacks top end speed to vertically stretch a defense or simply outrun man coverage, is a bit of a plodder
-Feet are relatively heavy and infrequent, lacking lateral quickness
+Changes directions well as a route runner with ability to sink his hips before accelerating out of breaks
+Controlled movement with impressive balance through contact and complete body control
-Not an overly long body type and his frame may be nearly filled out, overall strength level as a whole is merely average

+Natural hands-catcher who doesn’t let the ball get to his body and has very soft hands
+High concentration level that doesn’t sway in traffic or in tight coverage, looks every ball into his hands
+Sufficient catch radius despite having arms on the shorter end for tight ends, flexible body type to maneuver his position relative to ball placement
-Lacks firmness of hands to finish, catch point can be disrupted too easily by the contact of defenders

Run Blocking:
-Relatively undersized as an in-line blocker and lacks strength from the lower half to generate movement up front
-Gets overwhelmed by bigger and stronger defensive ends at the point of attack and can lose his leverage
+Impressive ability to place his hands on defenders and control as both a run blocker and pass protector
+Can sustain blocks and keep defenders engaged with continuous foot movement and strong hands
+Takes smart angles to second level targets and can wall off defenders in space
+Keeps pads low consistently and can anchor as an extra pass blocker relatively well

+Played with an adequate route tree in college and seemed to grasp concepts well
+Has the ability to outmatch smaller defenders if given a size advantage through hand usage
+Consistent and precise route runner with adequate change of direction ability at route landmarks
+Disguises intentions well in routes, makes a big impact on play action and double moves
+Has a natural feel for finding the holes in zone coverage and making himself available to the quarterback
-Lack suddenness in his feet to avoid the hands and heavy contact of linebackers in the box
+Tracks the ball well and can contort his body to adjust to the ball in the air
+Very efficient after the catch with ability to maintain balance while taking the blows of tacklers, churning his feet, and consistently falling forward

+Played a versatile role in the Tennessee offense with significant snaps at in-line tight end, H-back, slot receiver, and boundary receiver
+Has an impressive overall awareness level with a feel for down and distance, blocking responsibilities, and offensive scheme
+Durable player with a high experience level, 35 career starts at Tennessee

Mychal Rivera was often the cog of the Tennessee offense that featured talents such as Tyler Bray, Justin Hunter, and Cordarrelle Patterson. He showed a knack for the timely reception and made some incredible plays as well along the way. Rivera was initially an Oregon Duck before transferring to a junior college after redshirting a season and then transferring to Tennessee. He put up a career total of 76 receptions, 1018 yards, and 6 touchdowns for the Volunteers, with production steadily increasing each year. Rivera is a ready-made NFL prospect who can contribute from day one. What keeps his stock from sitting at the top is a lack of athleticism. He’s far from a dynamic threat at the tight end position and isn’t a mismatch problem for defenses. While he’s sure-handed and has a developed route tree, his ability to consistently separate is a question mark. Frankly, his ceiling is relatively low among tight end prospects. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a role. Rivera is the kind of versatile tight end that most teams look for in a number two tight end, one they can plug and play with ease. He’s consistent, reliable, and has a high football IQ. His lack of size and athleticism will drop him into the third day without question, but Rivera would be a smart pick for a team looking for tight end depth in the fifth round and on.—Darren Page

Scouting Notes:

Tennessee vs. Georgia
• Turns upfield quickly after catching a short crossing route, tries to hurdle a cornerback’s tackle unsuccessfully
• Loses his footing on a double move in the seam and goes down while Bray tries to fit it in to him
• Does well to lock up Jarvis Jones on multiple occasions as a run blocker, but doesn’t generate much movement
• Leads up the hole on Cornelius Washington and lays a heavy enough block on him to open up the hole, even if he loses the battle
• Makes an impressive adjustment of his body on a seam route when Bray throws to his back shoulder, spins his hips open to the ball and looks it in, picks up good yards after the catch and secures the ball as Sanders Commings tries to rip it out
• Lines up as an H-back and lead blocks around the corner on a toss, is able to wall off an inside linebacker in pursuit
• Unable to separate from Alec Ogletree on a crossing route, Bray’s throw gives him no chance to catch it either
• Makes an easy catch on a flat route but shows good feet to turn upfield quickly, keep his balance through a poor tackle attempt from Commings and tiptoe the sidelines to make the first down

Tennessee vs. Florida
• Sinks his hips and anchors commendably against a pass rushing linebacker in a one on one situation
• Struggles to separate on a drag route, but extends his arms out well to catch the ball before but can’t haul it in while the defender breaks up the catch point
• Get his hands to the chest of Dominique Easley as a pass blocker and holds up long enough for Tyler Bray to get rid of the ball
• Has Matt Elam one on one on a deep crossing route, would have created separation out of his route break but Elam holds him subtly, extends away from his body well to make the catch through contact
• Bullies Elam on a seam route down the middle and adjusts to the ball placed on his back shoulder to make the catch
• Sets up a play action corner route in the red zone well by working to the inside to escaping the vision of the safety and is able to get behind him on his break to the outside as a result, easy touchdown catch

Tennessee vs. Missouri
• Catches a five yard out as the slot receiver and is able to drag the defender for an extra yard or two
• Splits the two inside linebackers in zone coverage and catches the hook pattern on third and short, carries the two defenders and extra few yards to finish the play
• Takes a smart angle upfield on a draw play and pins Zaviar Gooden to the outside and mirrors him up the field
• Motions in from the boundary, sells a crack block on a toss to Cordarrelle Patterson before redirecting into a corner route on the trick play, unable to outrun Gooden and a safety to the endzone
• Lunges into a block on the edge and is sidestepped by the defensive end, who makes the tackle for loss
• Shows quick reactions to catch a crossing pattern when he didn’t expect the ball so quickly
• Finds a soft spot in zone coverage and catches a hook pattern without letting the ball get into his body
• Finds spots in the middle of the field on multiple more short yardage catches
• Makes an impressive catch in the back of the endzone for a long touchdown pass, locates the ball while playing through the contact of a face-guarding safety to his chest and controls the ball through the catch while falling
• Eludes man coverage with a stutter step in a route right down the middle of the field, makes a catch while wide open and runs over a safety in the open field
• Makes Gooden miss on a tackle after catching a flat pass with a quick hesitation move and picks up a few extra yards

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