NFL DRAFT DIAMONDS

Raiders TE Mychal Rivera looks up to Antonio Gates

Michael Rivera has stepped up his game and has been super impressive so far in the NFL. Rivera was a standout for the Tennessee Vols, but has always loved the play of Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez.

“I’ve watched him a lot — he and Tony Gonzalez,” Rivera told the . “They’re real pros who do things the right way. They run routes really crisply, take pride in their blocking and make a big difference in games.”

Rivera has nine receptions for 137 yards and an 18-yard touchdown catch. The only Raiders rookie who has been on the field more is first-round draft pick D.J. Hayden, with 159 snaps.

Rivera is a great waiver wire pick up because the kid is athletic.

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