Mychal Rivera NFL Stats
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Mychal Rivera NFL Game Log
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(Compared to other TEs)
Free Agent Team Injury Report
After four seasons in Oakland, Rivera signed a two-year deal with the Jaguars in March. After a breakout 2014 campaign, Rivera's production tailed off in the subsequent two seasons, and he closed 2016 with just 18 catches for 192 yards in 13 games. The 26-year-old will look to revive his career in Jacksonville, where he'll compete with veteran Marcedes Lewis for the No. 1 tight end designation. Lewis, the Jaguars' longest-tenured player, would appear to have the upper hand, but he was a virtual non-factor in 2016 and turned 33 in May.
Rivera has had past success in Oakland as a receiving threat, but has failed to establish himself as a blocker throughout the entirety of his career. No matter, as the Raiders seem to want Clive Walford to take a stranglehold on the team's starting tight end role and run with it, but if he can't maintain his health, then Oakland will have to look elsewhere. Enter Rivera and Lee Smith, who would likely split time in such an event. Presumably, Rivera would take over the passing game responsibilities while Smith operates as an in-line blocking specialist. However, a part-time role as a tight end for the Raiders isn't exactly a sought after fantasy situation, and remains one that is completely dependent on the health of Walford. Add it all up, and the bottom line is that Rivera is unlikely to reach fantasy relevance in 2016.
Rivera struggled the first six games of last season with a rookie quarterback in a fledgling offense before things finally started clicking Week 7. After just 13 receptions for 101 yards and no touchdowns in the first six games, Rivera totaled 76 targets, 45 receptions, 433 yards and four scores in the last 10 games. Prorated to 16 games, that's 122 targets, 72 receptions, 693 yards and six touchdowns. Lacking a downfield passing game, Derek Carr routinely checked down to Rivera, who totaled nearly half of his production on third downs Weeks 7-17. Rivera is not huge for a tight end at 6-3, 245, and has average speed (4.81 40), but he uses his athleticism and skilled route running to gain separation. Rivera has increased competition for targets this season, though. The Raiders signed wide receiver Michael Crabtree and drafted wideout Amari Cooper fourth overall. Rivera also will need to fend off third-round pick Clive Walford, a 6-4, 251-pound tight end who blocks and catches well enough to be a three-down player. The Raiders should at least have a semblance of a downfield passing game this year, which will help Rivera in coverage. And new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans to run an up-tempo attack similar to what he used last season as Philadelphia's quarterbacks coach.
Rivera emerged from a pool of tight-end candidates last year to lead the position in receiving as a rookie. A 2013 sixth-round draft pick, Rivera is a skilled receiver with excellent hands who uses his athleticism to get separation. He's undersized (6-3, 245) and has average speed (4.81 40), but the Raiders' dysfunction at quarterback held him back more than anything last year. Raiders quarterbacks ranked 25th in attempts, 27th in completion percentage and 30th in interception percentage. That contributed to Rivera breaking 50 yards just once and being held to no more than 10 yards four times. Matt Schaub steps in this season, and having an experienced pocket passer should bring stability to the offense. The Raiders also added wide receiver James Jones, which should help open the field for Rivera, who is expected to be a bigger part of the passing game. David Ausberry, who suffered a season-ending injury in training camp last year, could challenge for targets, and 6-6 Nick Kasa, who was drafted last year as a project, could steal red-zone work if he is ready.
At 6-3, 237 pounds, Rivera isn't the ideal size of a tight end in the NFL, but he may have the best hands at the position for Oakland. Rivera hauled in 36 catches for 562 yards (15.6 YPC) and five touchdowns last season at the University of Tennessee, though pass catching is just one of the many skills Rivera will need to show coaches before seeing the field. He will also need to beat out Richard Gordon, David Ausberry and fellow rookie Nick Kasa for playing time.