The New England Patriots used their first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to address their biggest need, selecting Youngstown State defensive end Derek Rivers with the 83rd overall selection.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 248 pounds, Rivers racked up 14 sacks as a senior in 2016, ranking second in FCS.
Lance Zierlein described Rivers thusly in the pass rusher’s NFL.com’s official draft profile:
“Motor-based edge rusher with some tightness in his hips who used efficient hands and consistent effort to whip the competition in front of him. Rivers may lack the length and agility to be a consistent, stand-up rusher on the next level, but he has the talent to find a spot as a backup who could work his way into a more prominent role with time.”
The Patriots wound up with the No. 83 pick thanks to a trade with the Tennessee Titans. New England sent pick No. 72 and a sixth-rounder to Tennessee in exchange for No. 83 and a fourth-rounder.
Rivers was the first of two Patriots selections Friday night. They also picked Troy offensive tackle Antonio Garcia 85th overall after swinging a trade with the Detroit Lions to move up from No. 96.
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