The 2021 NFL Draft is drawing closer. With the Giants set to pick at No. 11 in the first round, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at potential prospects who could soon call New York home.
Here’s a look at Miami EDGE Gregory Rousseau…
By The Numbers
–Height: 6-foot-6 1/2
–Weight: 266 pounds
–40-yard dash: 4.68 (Pro Day)
–Vertical: 30 inches
–Stats: 15.5 sacks, 19.5 tackles for loss, 35 tackles, 14 games (opted out of 2020 season)
–Accolades: Led ACC in sacks and tackles for loss in 2019 season
NFL.com: “Long-limbed, even-front end with a projectable frame but a concerning lack of functional edge experience. Much of his sack production came via athletic mismatches against interior blockers when reduced inside. He lacks prototypical get-off and needs more violence and pop in his hands, but his length, pursuit agility and wide-open throttle really stand out on tape. He doesn’t come off as unwilling at the point of attack. Expect noticeable improvement as a run defender once he adds play strength and learns to bend and anchor more effectively. The checked boxes are a bit uneven, but that appears to be more a reflection of a lack of film rather than projectable talent. He carries a bit of a boom/bust profile, but also has the makings of a player who can become a quality 4-3 end within his first three seasons”
The Draft Network: “While the production is eye-popping and he has an exciting physical skill set, his game is underdeveloped, which comes as no surprise given his relative newness to playing on the defensive line after a high school career where he primarily played wide receiver and safety. While Rousseau’s frame and length jump off the tape, his lack of technical refinement, processing skills, and functional strength are concerning when projecting him to the next level. It will be important for the franchise that selects Rousseau to understand the need for patience with his development. Rousseau suffered a season-ending fractured ankle in 2018 after just two games and opted out of 2020, leaving 2019 as the only year of film to evaluate and his rawness was evident. With patience and development, Rousseau has the upside to become an impact defender that can play all across the defensive line in multiple fronts.”
Why He Fits
Like the overviews said, Rousseau doesn’t have a lot of tape to watch. But the athleticism and the production from the 2019 season is too intriguing not to like the potential of what Rousseau can become in the NFL.
Collecting 15.5 sacks in a single NCAA season is a very hard task. And Rousseau did that in one of his early seasons of learning the position. Imagine what kind of technical skills Patrick Graham and his staff could teach him to refine his craft, develop his fundamentals to be sound, and possibly create a serious problem off the edge – one the Giants haven’t had since Jason Pierre-Paul.
Now, with that said, is a project like that worth it at No. 11 overall? Probably not. Rousseau’s draft stock is lower because you want a sure-fire prospect in the first round who can make an impact immediately.
If the Giants trade back and select Rousseau while gaining more draft capital, that could be a win-win. The Giants get someone who has the potential and certainly the athletic fit to be a monster on defense. And they can select someone else down the road, too.
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NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said this back on March 30 about the Giants and Rousseau…