Derek Rivers was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round (83rd overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft.
- Suffered an injury during training camp and was placed on Injured Reserve prior to the start of the regular season.
- Was a two-time All-American and three-time first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection.
- Finished career with 173 career tackles (119 solo), 56½ tackles for loss, 41 sacks, 47 QB pressures, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and one pass defensed in 49 games (37 starts).
- Set school record 41 sacks and ranks top five in FCS history.
- Played linebacker and tight end at Kinston. Was an all-conference selection on defense.
- Also played basketball. As a senior, Vikings were 26-4 and won the NCHSAA 2A Championship by defeating Waxhaw Cuthbertson, 58-55 in the finals.
- Parents are John Rivers and Mary Leinonen.
- Majored in business at Youngstown State.