The Cincinnati Bengals selected linebacker Keith Rivers in the first round in 2008. He’d become one of the most disappointing picks for Cincinnati.
As we countdown days until the 2018 draft, we will take a look at the first round pick selections by the Cincinnati Bengals over the last 10 years. Today we will start with linebacker Keith Rivers who they drafted in 2008.
The Cincinnati Bengals drafted linebacker Keith Rivers out of USC with the ninth overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft. Rivers will go down as one of the most disappointing first rounds picks for the Bengals only being with the team for four seasons and playing in three. He missed the entire 2011 season due to a wrist injury and missing a total of 29 games while with Cincinnati.
Rivers sustained a broken jaw injury in his rookie season from a vicious block delivered by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward that started his injury campaign. He would continue to be injury prone to injuries that included plantar fasciitis, wrist and ankle surgeries, calf issues and a car accident.
The most that Rivers ever did for Cincinnati was being traded in 2012 following his missed season in 2011 to the New York Giants for a fifth-round pick. That pick turned out to be safety George Iloka out of Boise State. Iloka, while being a fifth-round pick, still is a part of the Bengals defense today and has had some great years especially when matched up with former Bengals safety Reggie Nelson.
Rivers spent two years with the Giants starting in only 14 games. He went on to play for Buffalo while only getting 192 snaps for the Bills. Then he traveled to Dallas for a one-year deal where he was questionable to make the Cowboys roster and ended up retiring. Rivers finished his career with 50 starts, 189 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 interceptions. It’s a question what he could have been if he hadn’t sustained his long list of injuries in the NFL.