2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Edge Gregory Rousseau, Miami (Fla.)

Despite his limited college experience and production, can Miami's Gregory Rousseau bring some pass rushing help to the Giants?
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EDGE GREGORY ROUSSEAU 

Height: 6'6"
Weight: 260 lbs.
Class: Sophomore (Red Shirt) 
School: Miami (Fla.)


Rosseau is a former three-star recruit (four-star with Rivals.com) out of Hialeah, Florida, who attended Champagnat Catholic High School. He was the 80th ranked Florida prospect, and the 485th ranked prospect in the 2018 class, according to 247 Sports.

Due to his injury in his freshman season (2018), he had to redshirt. He ended up being the 2019 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and being named a 2019 Second Team All-American (FWAA).

In his 2019 All-ACC First Team season, he had eye-popping stats; he recorded 54 tackles, 19.5 for a loss, and 15.5 sacks. 

Unfortunately for Rousseau, it was the only year of college production, and the tape doesn’t necessarily suggest a refined product. Teams are going to have a tough decision on Rousseau, who has tools but is very raw.


Notables

Fractured his right ankle in the first game of the 2018 season, and he missed the rest of the year. He opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19.


Traits

He offers a lot of physical traits. He is incredibly long-limbed, has skinny legs, is a bit high cut in the waist, and if there’s one word to describe Rousseau, it would be long.

He uses his length to his advantage and gave college offensive lineman (especially guards) many problems. He is a good overall athlete who is a bit stiff. He isn’t the most explosive off the ball but does have good closing.

Rousseau is incredibly raw. He’s a good run defender who displayed good functional strength at the point of attack. He can give up his chest at times when coming off the ball, and he has a high center of gravity.

He does a good job using his inside arm to keep blockers at a distance, but he doesn’t always use the move. He does a good job getting skinny through double teams.


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He won a lot in college against sub-par offensive guards when kicked inside--I don’t think that’s as sustainable at the NFL level.

His pass-rush plan is severely underdeveloped, and he seems to just run into blockers. He doesn’t flash many moves as a pass rusher and doesn’t seem to have the flexibility to bend through contact up the arc.

He does a good job coming off pass blocks up the arc and crashing back inside. He uses solid lateral agility and his length to track down quarterbacks attempting to escape the pocket.

His tackle radius is gigantic. He isn’t the most fluid mover in space but can play the flats in zone coverage. There’s a lot of upside with Rousseau, but development will be critical. The stats are there in college, but the technique is not.

Lack of plan, feel for the game, and overall technique are concerning. He had a lot of production in college but is way more of a project than anything else. He relied on natural gifts to win in college.

Whatever team selects Rousseau should understand he’s a project, and he may be more of a luxury in Round 1. He is a talented piece of clay that could have been molded and benefited, from a technical football standpoint, from the 2020 season.


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