Gregory Rousseau Poised For 2021 NFL Draft Rise

Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is the owner of NFL Draft Lounge and has covered the NFL Draft since 2011. Brian is also the owner of the Infinity Sports Network, which NFL Draft Lounge belongs to.

Every collegiate season leading up to the NFL Draft, it seems like there is always a prospect that soars up draft boards after monster performances on the field.  The 2020 season will be no different.  Gregory Rousseau is an EDGE rusher from the University of Miami in Miami, Florida.  In my opinion, Gregory Rousseau has the skill set and abilities to become the top overall draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

In this article, I’ll recap Gregory Rousseau’s collegiate career thus far.  I’ll also be examining Rousseau’s abilities and why it makes him such a dangerous defensive prospect for the Hurricanes.  Finally, we’ll take a look at his competition at the top of the 2021 NFL Draft and break down what he’ll have to do to be the top prospect drafted.


The Background

Gregory Rousseau was a four-star rated prospect by Rivals, as well as a three-star prospect by 247 Sports and ESPN.  Won a 2A state football title in high school at Champagnat Catholic where he played on two sides of the ball as a safety and wide receiver.  Gregory Rousseau was recruited to University of Miami by Manny Diaz, who was the defensive coordinator at the time.  

Rousseau also had offers from LSU, South Carolina, and West Virginia, among others.  He eventually accepted the offer from the University of Miami where he transitioned into a defensive end.

He saw action in two games in 2018 as a true freshman, including a five tackle performance against Savannah State, before suffering a season-ending ankle injury that resulted in surgery and a redshirt.

2019 was a breakout year for Gregory Rousseau, as he totaled 15.5 sacks throughout the season, including a 4 sack performance against Florida State.  Rousseau finished the season with second team All-America honors, ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, and All-ACC first team honors.

If Gregory Rousseau can put up similar numbers in 2020, the he could be one of the top prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.


What I Like About Gregory Rousseau

Rousseau is a very unique prospect.  He wasn’t a highly sought after prospect out of high school, nor did he come into the University of Miami with these high expectations. Instead, he was someone that moved from receiver/safety and had to learn to play the EDGE position.  I’ve added some clips of what makes Gregory Rousseau a really intriguing prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft.

High Motor

A common term really stood out on my scouting report for Rousseau – Effort.  We see Rousseau display an excellent use of hands and quickness off the line of scrimmage to get by the guard and collapse the pocket.  He’s a high motor prospect that doesn’t give up on plays easily.  To reiterate, this rep is all about effort.

Tackling Range

On this play, Rousseau does a great job of shedding blocks quickly off the line of scrimmage. Off the edge, he’s able to read and identify the play quickly.  Using a solid change of direction, Rousseau is able to track down the quarterback as he attempts to climb the pocket.  However, I’d like to highlight Gregory Rousseau’s range to bring down the quarterback by diving and bringing him down low.

Block Shedding

Rousseau is able to fight through pressure on this play as he breaks down the pocket.  Once he’s able to get by the offensive line, Rousseau does a solid job of identifying the ball and attacking the quarterback to cause the fumble.


What I Dislike About Gregory Rousseau

Our summer scouting report on Gregory Rousseau wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t take a look at some of the areas in which he must improve on.

Coverage Abilities

Rousseau is a raw prospect that will be drafted based on his athleticism and production, but must improve in space. On this play, Gregory Rousseau takes a bad line on the coverage, which puts him behind the receiver as they cross the line of scrimmage.  In addition to the coverage, I’d like to see Rousseau work on tracking the ball and attempting to break up the pass.

Read and Attack Quickness

With the NFL moving to more read-option and RPOs, I’d like to see Rousseau identify the ball quicker.  He has a solid shot at disrupting the quarterback and shutting this play down, but he’s a tick slow.  However, he’s still raw, you have to assume that he will improve with more reps at the position.


The Competition

Gregory Rousseau is the class of the field heading into the 2021 NFL Draft at the defensive end position.  The outside linebacker position is a different story.  Micah Parsons is a talented linebacker for the Penn State Nittany Lions, and has a shot at jumping Rousseau on draft boards.

In addition to Parsons, we can also expect to see other edge rushers at the top of draft boards.  Clemson’s Xavier Thomas and Wake Forest’s Carlos Basham Jr. are two talented prospects with serious first round potential.


The Verdict

Heading into the 2021 NFL Draft season, Gregory Rousseau is a name to keep in mind.  He has tremendous talent and upside, although he’s still a raw prospect.  I can envision a franchise taking a shot on Rousseau as they look to refine his skill set and build their defense around him.

The 2020 college football season will be huge for his draft stock.  NFL scouts will want to see a rise in production from Rousseau, which he’s certainly capable of.  In fact, if Gregory Rousseau can have as productive of a season as Joe Burrow had in 2019, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that we see him off the board within the top three.

As we get into the summer months, be sure to follow NFL Draft Lounge as we go in-depth on our summer scouting series.  Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter or like the NFL Draft Lounge page on Facebook.

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