Position: Defensive end.
School: Youngstown State.
Measurables: 6-foot-4, 248 pounds.
Combine stats: 40-yard dash: 4.61 seconds. Vertical jump: 35.0 inches. Bench press: 30 reps. Broad jump: 10 feet, 3 inches. 3-cone drill: 6.94 seconds, 20-yard shuttle: 4.40 seconds. 60-yard shuttle: 12.43 seconds.
Career stats: 49 games, 120 tackles (56.5 for loss), 37.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries.
Draft projection: Second-third round.
1. He was a combine all-star. Rivers' 40-yard dash time, vertical leap, bench press and three-cone drill all ranked among the best for defensive linemen at this year's NFL Scouting Combine. Coming from a smaller school, he needed to show that he can compete athletically with those from the powerhouse programs, and his performance in Indianapolis showed he's on that level as an athlete.
2. He dominated against a lower level of competition. One key for drafting players from the lesser levels of college football is to see them dominate. Rivers did just that for the Penguins, finishing with 36 sacks over his final three seasons. He was a third-team Associated Press FCS All-American as a senior, finishing with 58 tackles (19.5 for loss) and 14 sacks, which ranked second in the nation.
3. He comes from a winning program. Rivers helped the Penguins advance to the FCS national title game, which they lost to James Madison. He earned first-team All-Missouri Valley honors for the third year in a row.
Fun fact: Rivers attended Fork Union Military Academy in 2012 after high school in order to get his grades up.
They said it: " I wouldn't be surprised to see Derek Rivers go in like the top 40 or even slide into the back half of the first round, just because he has all of the things you look for except for the brand name from the school." – Bleacher Report's Charles Johnson.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NFL Draft, which begins April 27. Up next: Clemson WR Mike Williams.