Gregory Rousseau has been one of the big names in this draft since his 15.5 sack season in 2019. He is a mountain of a man and he certainly looks the part of a defensive end. The problem is, there are a ton of questions left to be answered. He did himself no favors by opting out in 2020 and now, Rousseau seems to be the biggest question mark in the draft. Is one superstar season enough to get him taken in the first round? Let’s find out.
Position: Defensive End
Weight: 266 lbs
2019 Stats: 13 games played/34 SOLO/54 TOTAL/19.5 TFL/15.5 Sacks
1.Rousseau’s go to pass rush move is a bull rush and for good reason. The 6’7″ enforcer uses his legs along with his strong arms to drive back a tackle and will finish with a rip. A majority of his sacks in 2019 came from winning on a bull rush. This move will serve as a great base move in the NFL.
2. The sheer size of his 6’7″ height and 34 3/4 inch long arms are a huge advantage, especially at the defensive end position. He generally has great pad level and catches ball carriers in the gaps with his long frame. Very few blockers can keep Rousseau contained due to his massive frame.
3.One of the best parts of Rousseau’s game is his versatility. He is best suited to play as a 4-3 edge defender but he is quite good when rushing from the interior and can be stunted around in blitzes. He isn’t the most athletic guy but he is powerful enough to push the pocket fast enough to make up for his lack of speed.
1.If Gregory’s bull rush fails, that effectively ends his rush. It’s not an effort problem, he just doesn’t have any half effective move besides it. His pass rush moves are sloppy and practically non-existent. His long arms mean that he could be a pass rush nightmare but he must be taught and polished at the next level in order to expand his pass rush arsenal.
2.There is a serious lack of pop off the line of scrimmage with Rousseau. He has very minimal explosion off the line which forces him to put more effort into driving his legs in his rush. He’s got the power to bounce off the line but there just seems to be a weak get off when engaging a tackle.
3.The majority of his high school years were spent at safety and wide receiver. His knowledge of the position is lacking and that much is pretty obvious. He makes mis-reads in the run game all the time and doesn’t know how to read and react to line movement post-snap.
Rousseau plays an incredibly impactful position and had a 15.5 sack season in a power 5 conference two years after learning the position. He is 6’7″ tall and weighs a lanky 266 lbs. The potential is absolutely through the roof but the floor is quite low. Rousseau has a lot of questions that need answered. He might need to fall into the perfect situation with elite coaching, a veteran star to learn from, and a scenario that allows him to sit for probably two years. If Rousseau pans out, he just might be a candidate to break Strahan’s sack record, that’s just the potential he has, but if the stars don’t align, he’ll be an annual two sack rotational guy.
Draft Projection: Second Round
Pro Comparison: Danielle Hunter/Tanoh Kpassagnon