Gregory Rousseau Scouting Report: 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile
By Bobby Bishop.
Gregory Rousseau – EDGE, Miami
Height – 6’7” Weight – 265 lbs Class – RS Junior Hometown – Coconut Creek, Florida
Gregory Rousseau was born in Coconut Creek, Florida, in April of 2000. After falling in love with Madden ‘05, Rousseau began to play football with his brothers. He attended Champagnat Catholic High School. He played on both sides, starring as a wide receiver and a safety. As he continued to grow, Rousseau moved from safety to outside linebacker.
Rousseau preferred playing wide receiver, but when the college offers started rolling in, most of the college coaches wanted Rousseau to play defensive end or outside linebacker. Accepting his fate that he had outgrown wide receiver (still a little scary to think of him as a tight end though—who knows if his future NFL coach will get creative and throw him on offense for a trick play), Rousseau began to focus solely on his edge rushing abilities.
He ended high school as a four-star prospect by Rivals, but a three star by 247. He chose Miami over offers from LSU, USC, Oregon, Tennessee, and South Carolina. At Miami, he had an ankle injury in his second game of his freshman season, forcing him to redshirt. As a redshirt freshman, Rousseau took off.
He led the ACC in sacks with 15.5 and tackles for loss with 19.5. He only trailed the Heisman candidate Chase Young for most sacks in the FBS by one sack. He was named as a Freshman All-American. Following the 2019 season, Rousseau’s 2021 draft stock was sky high, with almost every analyst projecting him as the top Edge prospect in what looked like would be a weaker class for pass rushers.
Gregory Rousseau decided to opt out of his redshirt junior season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and he declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.
For Rousseau’s size, he moves incredibly well. He is extremely strong and runs through offensive tackles on occasion. He gets to the QB at a very high rate. When he is not bull rushing offensive tackles, he has one other way to get to the QB. His speed chop move is elite. Another strength is his draft age, as he is going to turn 21 a few weeks before the draft. As an outside linebacker, he has the ability to drop back in coverage more fluently than most edge rushers, so he could be particularly useful in a 3-4.
Rousseau is not going to surprise you technique wise. He needs to develop more moves (spin move, etc) to help himself get to the quarterback in the NFL. He is not as dominant at stopping the run as rushing the passer. We haven’t seen a ton of film for him. He only played one season at the college level, and he was used exclusively as a pass rush specialist for half of that season.
Jean Pierre-Paul with two hands. Pierre-Paul is a gifted athlete, who didn’t start to refine his pass rush techniques until after he got drafted. Rousseau projects similarly.
Rousseau’s decision to opt out may cause him to slide in the draft. He is not the refined, elite top edge prospect that we’ve had the last few years (Chase Young – 2020, Nick Bosa – 2019, Myles Garrett – 2017); however, you can teach a guy technique, but you can’t teach him to have the size, strength, and speed that Rousseau naturally possesses.
He’s young and should be able to develop and reach his potential in the NFL. Unfortunately, while Rousseau sits the season out, other edge rushers are emerging in the draft. Michigan’s Kwity Paye and Texas’ Joseph Ossai (not to mention Rousseau’s former teammate Quincy Roche). Rousseau’s stock may be hurt by the emergence of these players, but Rousseau’s dominant 2019 should keep him at the top of the draft.
If he trains hard for the combine and does very well, Rousseau could be a top 5 pick. However, if he does poorly at the combine after a year away from football or demonstrates a lack of work ethic in the interviews, Rousseau could very well fall out of the top 10 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
1st EDGE taken. Top 10 pick.
RS Sophomore Season
Vs. Florida (2019) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu8_0xw2ryg
Vs. Virginia (2019) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IobVrg9pOVg&t=222s
Vs. Florida State (2019) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpDmWrOOZ7c