Derek Rivers

East Notes: Giants, Collins, Pats, Dolphins

Landon Collins fractured his arm last December, and the injury is not healing as well as the Giants safety had hoped, reprots Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter links). As such, Collins is now considering another operation to further repair the break. Luckily, a procedure to plate the break would only recover a six-to-eight week recovery period, meaning Collins would likely be available for training camp, per Garafolo, who cautions that while surgery is expected, no final decision has been made. Collins, who earned his second consecutive Pro Bowl berth in 2017, is entering the final year of his rookie contract.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • After missing the entirety of his rookie season due to a torn ACL, Patriots edge rusher Derek Rivers has not suffered any setbacks, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. As should be expected, New England will likely use caution as Rivers reintegrates into football, and the club likely won’t feel the need to push Rivers during offseason activities. But it appears that the third-round pick from Youngstown State will be ready for the start of the 2018 campaign, says Reiss. Heading into last year’s draft, Rivers was viewed as something of a project, a high-motor player who may need time to develop. The Patriots could certainly use help on the edge after finishing just 30th in pressure rate last year, and Rivers could conceivably get a chance at playing time if healthy.
  • Although the Dolphins have already signed veteran Frank Gore to pair with incumbent Kenyan Drake, the club will be open to selecting another running back in the draft, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. Indeed, Miami has been attempting to schedule a pre-draft visit with San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny, but finding an open date has been difficult given that Penny has already set up many meetings with other teams. Penny (5’11”, 220) rushed for a whopping 2,248 yards in 2018, averaging 7.8 yards per carry while scoring 23 touchdowns on the ground.
  • The New York media market could play a factor in the Giants‘ decision on whether to use the No. 2 overall pick on quarterback, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk opines. If Big Blue drafts a signal-caller, fans and reporters alike will likely be clamoring for that passer to be inserted into the starting lineup if Eli Manning falters. While that doesn’t necessarily mean the Giants shouldn’t consider a quarterback, they should only do so if general manager Dave Gettleman & Co. have no doubts about the prospect, argues Florio. Sitting at No. 2, New York will have their choice of three of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, and Josh Allen (provided Cleveland uses the first overall pick on a quarterback, as expected).

Patriots’ Derek Rivers Done For Season?

Derek Rivers’ rookie season has ended before it could even start. The team fears that the defensive end has suffered a season-ending knee injury, according to Field Yates and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Specifically, Rivers has suffered a torn ACL and sprained LCL, per the initial MRI, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Additional testing will likely confirm that surgery is needed.
Derek Rivers (vertical)

Rivers was injured during a kickoff coverage drill on Wednesday. It’s a bad break for both the player and the team as Rivers was expected to pitch in at both defensive end and outside linebacker in the wake of Rob Ninkovich‘s retirement.

Rivers was a third-round pick in this year’s draft, but he wound up being the team’s highest draft choice after the Pats sent their first-round pick to the Saints for wide receiver Brandin Cooks and dealt their second-round choice to the Panthers for defensive end Kony Ealy.

The injury could prompt the Patriots to look at free agent options. There aren’t a ton of high-impact edge rushers left, but Dwight Freeney is one of the more notable names left on the board. As a pass rush specialist for the Falcons last year, Freeney finished out with 3.0 sacks and ten tackles in the regular season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Sign Top Pick Derek Rivers

The Patriots’ top pick is officially under contract. Defensive end Derek Rivers has inked his rookie deal, according to his agents (on Twitter). Derek Rivers (vertical)

The Pats selected Rivers with the No. 85 overall pick in the draft, their top selection thanks to the Brandin Cooks trade with New Orleans. The Youngstown State product finished school in style, tallying 14.0 sacks and garnering attention from talent evaluators all over the league. Rivers could be a factor at defensive end behind Kony Ealy and Trey Flowers this year, but we could also see him get some reps at outside linebacker where he can learn from Rob Ninkovich.

The Patriots have now signed all four members of their 2017 draft class. Here’s the full rundown of New England’s rookie class:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.