FOXBORO, Mass. — The life of an NFL prospect is a bit of a whirlwind, to say the least.
A week ago, Derek Rivers was going through his final preparations for the 2017 NFL Draft, hoping to be one of the 253 names called in Philadelphia. Fast forward seven days, and Rivers was on the field at Gillette Stadium, being officially introduced to the New England media along with the rest of the Patriots’ 2017 draft class.
Rivers, the Patriots’ top pick this year (83rd overall), said Thursday he hasn’t had a chance to meet any current New England players outside of his fellow draftees. But the young defensive end is very excited to meet one in particular: quarterback Tom Brady.
“I’m going to be starstruck (when I meet Brady), I’m not going to lie,” Rivers said. “I got to meet (Carolina Panthers All-Pro linebacker) Luke Kuechly earlier in the year in Cincinnati, and I was starstruck then, so I can only imagine what it’s going to be like when I meet Brady. It’ll be crazy.”
Rivers also had nice things to say about Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who emceed the brief introduction ceremony.
“Oh man, Mr. Kraft is an awesome dude,” Rivers said. “I love him to death. Real laid-back. We were just laughing and joking. He thinks we can take on the Celtics as far as everybody that he brought in with our height.”
All four Patriots draft picks — Rivers, defensive end Deatrich Wise and offensive tackles Antonio Garcia and Conor McDermott — stand between 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-8.
“There’s definitely something in the milk they’re drinking,” Kraft quipped.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images