Gregory Rousseau Draft Profile
The COVID-19 year has affected everybody differently, but no prospects draft stock has been hurt more than Gregory Rousseau’s. After the 2019 season was over, Rousseau was a projected 2020 top ten pick. Once the pandemic hit, Rousseau opted out of the 2020 season because his mom is a frontline worker and he saw just how scary this virus can be. Apparently Rousseau chose to put on weight in his time off, but looked “out of shape” at his pro day workout. I’ve actually done a lot of research on who Rousseau is as a person and everything checks out to me. He seems like a great kid and I’m sure he will be good to go by week one and potentially be a starting defensive end for whatever team he’s drafted by.
Starting with the obvious, Rousseau is a phenomenal athlete. Standing at 6’7, he’s built like a basketball player, but he has the mindset of a wide receiver. A fun fact about Rousseau is that he actually had power five offers as both a receiver and safety as well as at defensive end. That is just a testament to his athleticism. In 2019, Rousseau was extremely productive putting up 15.5 sacks. There isn’t just one way that Rousseau wins, he can dominate using his feet, hands, and strength. The receiver in him comes out during his rush, his feet look like he’s doing a release off the line. You don’t draft Rousseau for what he’s already done, you draft him based on what he’s capable of doing. If Rousseau accomplishes what I think he’s capable of doing, offensive lineman will be having nightmares about him. While Rousseau had an amazing 2019 season, he still has a lot of room to grow. He can still get a lot better with all of his rushes: speed, bull, and hand swipes. For those reasons, I think he’s still a very raw prospect and has a lot to develop. I am a huge fan of Rousseau and what ever team drafts him is getting a player who could be an all-pro one day.
While I do love what Rousseau has to offer, the biggest thing he needs to work on is consistency. There are times where he gets pushed back even though he’s the biggest dude on the field. I believe that’s the reason why he chose to put on a lot of weight in his year off. It’s hard to maintain “football shape” without actually being on the field, so Rousseau may be a little slow from the get go. Overall, I’m not sure why Rousseau isn’t a lock to go on day one.
The sweet spot for Rousseau in the draft is late in the first round, early in the second round. At the end of the first round, Rousseau is a really good option for both the Saints and Ravens who lost key pass rushers this offseason. If he falls to day two, the Jets and Giants could grab him at the top of the second round. Rousseau would play in the Arik Armstead role for Robert Saleh’s defense, and that is actually my pro comparison for him. Armstead also struggles with inconsistency, but has shown that he can be an absolute dog at his peak. Saleh’s defense relies on good defensive line play and he is a coach that can unlock Rousseau’s potential.
Run Defender 5.75/7
Pass Rush Moves 5/6
Get Off/Motor 4.25/5
Final Rating: 82
Pro Comparison: Arik Armstead
Team Fits: Ravens, Jets, Saints
Draft Ranking: First Round Pick
Draft Projection: Early Second Round