Rookie tight end Mychal Rivera showed some flashes of becoming the Oakland Raiders future number one tight end against the Colts on Sunday. While Rivera finished with just 2 catches for 26 yards, his explosive play making ability makes me excited for his future.
On Rivera’s first career reception he ran a short route and caught a nice 7 yard pass from Pryor. Rivera caught the ball even though he was immediately hit by Colts cornerback Vontae Davis. On his second catch, Rivera turned a short 5 yard reception into a big 19 yard play. After catching the ball Rivera broke linebacker Jerrell Freeman’s tackle and immediately trucked cornerback Greg Toler before scampering 19 yards down the field. What made Rivera’s 19 yard reception more impressive is that he got open while lining up as a slot receiver.
Rivera is the definition of a Reggie Mckenzie type player, as Rivera does not neccesarily have all the athletic ability that Al Davis craved but he put up great numbers in college. Rivera finished with over 500 yards receiving at Tennessee but his slow 40-yard dash time dropped him to the 6th round of the draft. Although Rivera did not start the game at tight end, he did finish with more snaps than starter Jeron Mastrud .
Expect Rivera to put up good numbers this year for the Raiders as he is the perfect target for Terrelle Pryor. As we all saw against the Colts, Pryor does not have a great arm but he uses his mobility to find receivers open. Players like Rivera will get plenty of footballs thrown there way because Pryor’s legs buys them more time to get open.