It’s just rookie minicamps, but Mychal Rivera understands that it’s time to get to work and there’s no time to waste.
The former Tennessee Volunteer tight end finished his first NFL mincamp this weekend with the Oakland Raiders.
Rivera understands there’s a big adjustment going into the NFL as far as the time that has to be put into studying. Rivera, who grew up five hours south of Oakland, said “you have to manage your time right, study a lot and get into those playbooks”.
In addition to the extra study time that will have to be performed, the game moves a lot faster in the NFL. Rivera said he expects the speed to pick up once the rest of the guys get there, but that the SEC prepared him for the speed of the NFL game.
Oakland is a great landing spot for Rivera. The top returning tight end is David Ausberry, who had only seven catches for 92 yards last season.
Rivera is more of a pass catching tight end. He admitted that he needs to work on his blocking, but he says he brings a lot of versatility to the tight end position for the Raiders. Rivera said the team has already been moving him around, lining him up at tight end, full back and wide receiver, much like he was used at Tennessee.
The California native could end up carving out a nice role for himself in the Oakland offense this year. Tight end Brandon Meyers led the Raiders in receiving last year with 79 receptions for 806 yards. Meyers landed with the New York Giants this off-season, leaving in a big hole in offensive production for the Raiders. Rivera, who was drafted in the 5th round, could be the answer for Oakland.
Rivera will have to compete with fellow rookie tight end Nick Kasa, out of Colorado. The competition has been friendly between the two so far. Rivera said it was nice having a fellow tight end that was “lost out there” and that the two have been regularly helping each other out.
The tight end position is one of the harder positions to contribute to as a rookie, but of all the situations where Rivera could’ve ended up, Oakland may be the best.
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