Derek Rivers
Personal information
Born: (1994-05-09) May 9, 1994 (age 29)
Augusta, Maine, U.S.
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school:Kinston
(Kinston, North Carolina)
College:Youngstown State
Position:Defensive end
NFL draft:2017 / Round: 3 / Pick: 83
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:16
Player stats at · PFR

Derek Rivers (born May 9, 1994) is an American football defensive end who is a free agent. He played college football at Youngstown State.[1][2] He has been a member of the New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts.

Early years

Born in Augusta, Maine, Rivers and his family moved to North Carolina when he was five months old.[3] Rivers later attended Kinston High School in Kinston. After high school, he attended Fork Union Military Academy for a year.[4]

College career

Rivers played at Youngstown State from 2013 to 2016. During his career he had a school record 41 career sacks, including 14 as a senior. He accumulated 56.5 tackles for loss, 47 quarterback hurries and 119 solo tackles in his college career at Youngstown State. As a senior, Rivers led one of the top statistically rated defenses in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the National Championship where they would lose to James Madison University 24–14. Rivers was a three time 1st Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference performer as well as a two time FCS All-American. Rivers finished his career #5 all-time in FCS history in career sacks.[5][6][7]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 3+58 in
(1.92 m)
248 lb
(112 kg)
32+34 in
(0.83 m)
9+38 in
(0.24 m)
4.61 s 1.60 s 2.66 s 4.40 s 6.94 s 35 in
(0.89 m)
10 ft 3 in
(3.12 m)
30 reps
All values from NFL Combine[8]

New England Patriots

Rivers was selected by the New England Patriots in the third round (83rd overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft.[9] During training camp, he suffered a torn ACL and was ruled out for the season.[10] He was officially placed on injured reserve on September 2, 2017.[11]

Rivers made his NFL debut in Week 3 of the 2018 season, against the Detroit Lions. In Week 17, he recorded his first career sack when he took down rookie quarterback Sam Darnold in a win against the New York Jets.[12] He played in his first career postseason game on January 13, 2019, in a win against the Los Angeles Chargers. Rivers helped the Patriots reach Super Bowl LIII, although he was inactive for it. The team defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13–3.[13] He played in 6 regular-season games that season, recording 2 solo tackles and 1 sack.

Rivers suffered a knee injury in Week 2 of the 2019 preseason, and was ruled out for the rest of the season. He was placed on injured reserve on August 31, 2019.[14][15]

Rivers made the 53-man roster coming out of 2020's shortened preseason. He was active in Week 1, against the Miami Dolphins, where he recorded his first sack since 2018 on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the Patriots on October 17, 2020,[16] but was activated on October 21.[17] On November 21, Rivers was released by the Patriots to make room on the roster.[18]

As a Patriot, he played in 14 regular-season games through nearly 4 seasons (being injured for 2 of those seasons), making six tackles with 2.5 sacks. Rivers also played in one postseason game.

Los Angeles Rams

On November 23, 2020, Rivers was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Rams.[19] As a Ram, he played in 2 regular-season games, as well as both postseason games, their postseason being cut short with a loss of 32–18 to the Green Bay Packers.[20]

Houston Texans

On March 23, 2021, Rivers signed with the Houston Texans.[21] On August 31, he was released, but re-signed to the practice squad on September 1.[22][23] He was promoted to the active roster on November 24.[24] On December 9, the Texans signed Rivers to a two-year, $1 million deal.[25] The last game he played in for that season was on December 19 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he recorded his first sack since Week 1 of 2020 on quarterback Trevor Lawrence.[26] This was his only sack of the season, having played in only 5 consecutive games that season, beginning on November 21.

On August 30, 2022, Rivers was placed on injured reserve with a torn biceps tendon.[27] He was out for the entire season.

Rivers re-signed with the Texans on March 16, 2023.[28] On August 30, he was both released from the active roster and signed to the practice squad.[29] In a flurry of moves over the course of three weeks, Rivers was shifted between being promoted to the active roster,[30] being released,[31] and being re-signed to the practice squad, starting with his promotion to the active roster on September 21 and ending as a member of the practice squad on October 7.[32][33][34][35] He was released on November 1.[36]

Indianapolis Colts

On December 7, 2023, the Indianapolis Colts signed Rivers to their practice squad.[37] He was not signed to a reserve/future contract after the season and thus became a free agent upon the expiration of his practice squad contract.[38]


  1. ^ Cox, Zack (April 28, 2017). "Patriots Pick Defensive End Derek Rivers With 83rd Selection In 2017 NFL Draft". NESN. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  2. ^ "Inside the Patriots Draft Room: Round 3". New England Patriots. April 28, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  3. ^ Lazarczyk, Travis (May 1, 2017). "Patriots' top draft pick has family ties to Maine". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  4. ^ "YSU sophomore DE fulfills father's football promise". Archived from the original on March 31, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  5. ^ Falcons make Youngstown State's Derek Rivers feel at home in workout
  6. ^ YSU standout Derek Rivers impresses at NFL Combine
  7. ^ "Youngstown's Derek Rivers, son of ex-Hokie, will test JMU's protection".
  8. ^ "Combine Player Profiles – Derek Rivers". National Football League. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  9. ^ Patra, Kevin. "Patriots finally make a pick with Derek Rivers at No. 83". Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  10. ^ Reiss, Mike (August 18, 2017). "Patriots fear DE Derek Rivers lost for season with torn ACL, sprained LCL". Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  11. ^ "Patriots reach 53-man limit". September 2, 2017. Archived from the original on November 28, 2017.
  12. ^ "NEUSE NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Humble Rivers is ready for Super Bowl LIII".
  13. ^ "53 things we learned from Patriots' 13-3 win over Rams in Super Bowl LIII". USA Today.
  14. ^ Yang, Nicole. "Patriots rumor roundup: Here's who won't make New England's 53-man roster". Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  15. ^ "Derek Rivers recovery journey, second career sack 'gratifying' for Patriots to see". Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  16. ^ Reiss, Mike (October 17, 2020). "New England Patriots place Sony Michel, Shaq Mason, Derek Rivers on reserve/COVID-19 list". Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  17. ^ Roche, Conor (October 21, 2020). "Patriots remove three players from COVID list; place Jermaine Eluemunor on IR". Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  18. ^ "Patriots make a series of roster transactions". November 21, 2020.
  19. ^ "Rams claim former Patriots DE Derek Rivers off waivers". Rams Wire. USA Today. November 23, 2020.
  20. ^ "Derek Rivers 2020 Game Log". Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  21. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (3-23-2021)". March 23, 2021.
  22. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (8-31-2021)". August 31, 2021.
  23. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (9-1-2021)". September 1, 2021.
  24. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (11-24-2021)". November 24, 2021.
  25. ^ "Texans New Contract Details on 2 Signings".
  26. ^ "Derek Rivers Career Game Log". Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  27. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (8-30-2022)". August 30, 2022.
  28. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (3-16-2023)". March 16, 2023.
  29. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (8-30-2023)". August 30, 2023.
  30. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (9-21-2023)". Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  31. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (9-29-2023)". Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  32. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (9-30-2023)". September 30, 2023.
  33. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (10-4-2023)". Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  34. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (10-6-2023)". Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  35. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (10-7-2023)". Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  36. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (11-01-2023)". November 1, 2023.
  37. ^ "Colts sign DE Derek Rivers to practice squad". December 7, 2023.
  38. ^ "Colts sign 9 to reserve/future contracts, 4 to one-year contract extensions, waive CB Tony Brown". January 8, 2024.