Ronnie Rivers, son of former Lions running back Ron Rivers, is now making his way to the NFL.
After a stellar college career, Ronnie Rivers took another step in the pre-draft process at the NFL Combine this week. He is Fresno State’s all-time leader in total touchdowns (51), and he’s third on the school’s all-time rushing list (3,417 yards). He is trying to make it to the NFL, like his father did.
Ron Rivers spent the first five of his six NFL season with the Detroit Lions, from 1995-1999 before his final season with the Atlanta Falcons in 2000. For the first four of those seasons in Detroit, he backed up some guy named Barry Sanders.
A segment of Lions fans certainly shares the sentiment of the Detroit Free Press‘ Dave Birkett in citing the “makes me feel old department” with Rivers’ son now coming into the NFL.
Ronnie Rivers wouldn’t mind playing for the Lions like his dad did
Via Birkett’s piece profiling the Rivers’ (subscription required), Ronnie said it would be a honor to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play for the Lions.
Rivers is a smaller back (5-foot-7 and four inches, 195 pounds at the combine), and he did not run a fast 40-yard dash in Indianapolis (4.60 officially). At that size and lacking great timed speed, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah compared Rivers to Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary during running back drills at the combine (this is where I yawn). But Rivers’ 36.5 inch vertical jump was tied for fourth-best among running backs at the combine this year, and his 9-foot, 11-inch broad jump was solid.
If the Lions draft a running back in April, it will be in the later rounds barring a huge surprise/a striking lack of faith in D’Andre Swift’s ability to stay healthy. In that vein Rivers could wind up being an option for them. Then he could follow all the way in his dad’s footsteps, with the same first NFL team.