Prospect: Mychal Rivera, TE, TennesseeMychal Rivera

Height: 6’3¼”

Weight: 242 lb.


  • 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.

Originally published at Mychal Rivera Scouting Report