University at Buffalo wide receiver Marcus Rivers is excited about signing as a free agent with the Green Bay Packers after he was overlooked in the NFL Draft. The Lackawanna native will be reunited with former Bulls running back James Starks, who won a Super Bowl his rookie year.
"Being with James is going to make the process much easier," Rivers said this morning. "When I was at UB, James was always building me up and giving me confidence."
Rivers, who had 110 catches over his final two seasons as UB, will get an opportunity to compete for a job on a Green Bay team that did not select a wideout in the draft. The 6-5, 225-pounder has the size and athleticism to become a possession-type receiver in the NFL but might not have the breakaway speed to become a deep threat. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds.
Learning on the job with the Packers should only help Rivers. The Pack had a 15-1 record last season and an MVP quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. Veteran receivers Gregg Jennings and Jordy Nelson will be back again this season. Green Bay isn't sure if veteran receiver Donald Driver, their all-time leader, will return at age 37.
"I’m thinking about all the great receivers they have that I can learn from and critique my game," Rivers said. "It’s overwhelming. It’s unbelievable. I’m like, 'I’m going to play with Aaron Rodgers?' But it’s like my mom said, 'You can’t go in there as a fan; it’s about business.' "
--- Bucky Gleason