2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

Photo: Mark Brown/Getty Images

 

Height: 6’7″

Weight: 265lbs

Class: Redshirt Sophomore

D.O.B: – –

 

Strengths: Incredibly explosive first step which has beaten many slower tackles off the snap. Gets his hands up quickly and is ready to deploy his pass rush plan. Very effective in converting speed-to-power and driving lineman into their QBs, this can also be attributed to his remarkable length which he uses to control the chest of the tackle. He also uses his length well to stack-and-shed by outreaching the lineman and using his violent hands to discard the block. Incredible tackle radius. Hands are so violent and fast, especially on his chop moves. Gets his hands into the chest of his blocker which allows him to disengage at will. He even got sacks from being lined up at nose tackle, this is a testament to his freakish athleticism. Demonstrates great change of direction skills to weave around lineman, something that could be utilised on twists in the NFL. His swipe move is so sudden and so fast, I don’t think even he knows it’s coming. Ducks under blocks in a way that I have never seen before from someone of his size. One of the most dynamic pass rushers I’ve seen at this stage of his career. Can (and does) line up everywhere; nose, shade nose, 3-tech, 5-tech. Has an array of speed based pass rush moves that he uses to devastating effect. Although not being the most advanced pass rusher, he shows impressive refinement for someone who was a High School WR and Safety.
Weaknesses: Rousseau is listed at 6’7” which means leverage will never be a calling card for him, but he doesn’t play with adequate knee bend to even lower his pad level. His high pad level can sometimes inhibit his ability to penetrate the line because he’s not harnessing the potential power of his legs. Has missed a few tackles by diving too low and just trying to coral the ball carrier’s legs opposed to wrapping up around the hip area. Consistent run defense isn’t something he can hang his hat on relative to his other traits, this appears to be a product of his poor leverage. Much of his production didn’t come as a true EDGE, but I’m not sure if he has the strength to hold up on the inside at the NFL level—especially to the degree he did at Miami. Hasn't yet shown the ability to reduce his surface area off the edge. Pass rush counters are not yet there, if he doesn’t win quickly, it’s unlikely that he will win at all.
Summary: Never have I written a final report in August before, but the circumstances have necessitated such. I really can’t blame Gregory Rousseau for looking out for the health of himself and the health of others in opting not to play. With that being said, I think Rousseau was one of the players with the most to gain out of this upcoming season. It is always reassuring to see development in a player, and we are yet to see that in Rousseau given that he was a Redshirt Freshman last season. But Rousseau’s physical profile combined with his production is likely going to see him maintain his status as a top-10 player.
NFL Comp: Danielle Hunter
Round Grade: First Round/Top-15
Ideal scheme fit: 4-3 DE
- August 8, 2020

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