DE Gregory Rousseau, Miami (FL)** (6’7”, 253)
Redshirted after appearing in one game his true freshman season, then immediately stepped into a starting role and put together a dominant stat line of 54-19.5-15.5 the following year. Did not play this past season, then declared for the draft.
Has outstanding size and length with the frame to add additional bulk. Development trajectory is very promising. Plays with discipline when two-gapping and setting the edge in the run game. Able to hold up against double-team blocks. Shows good awareness to locate and is capable of bringing down ballcarriers while engaged. Good athlete who can pursue a little bit from the backside when given a free release. Nice thudding hitter who can help set the tone defensively. Glider who covers a lot of ground with his first step to challenge offensive tackles and set up his speed-to-power. Not overwhelming in terms of strength but is able to walk back offensive tackles with his bull rush, demonstrating good pad level and leg drive. Varies his rushing approach, mixing in inside and outside moves alongside his go-to power approach. Has the versatility to take some snaps from the inside and execute stunts on obvious passing downs. Has at least adequate closing speed to finish, and works hard to pursue to the sidelines. Height/length allow him to contest passing lanes. Was asked to take some limited snaps into zone coverage, sometimes out of a two-point stance. Capable of carrying backs into the flats. Has additional value blocking kicks on special teams.
Put together just one year of tape before declaring. Didn’t see him play on the right side of the line. Weight is a little bit on the small side for his size and may need some time in a strength program. More of a flexible/smooth athlete than an incredibly explosive one. Needs to continue developing his hand usage; will work in some swipe and rip moves, but relies primarily on his athleticism and power thus far. Balance can be an issue at times. Stalls out on some inside rushes, ending up idling around the line or occupying blocks rather than getting pressure. Susceptible to getting his legs cut out from under him. Batted down just one pass in his only season of play.
A very intriguing athlete who combines excellent size and length with above-average functional strength and flexibility, offering the versatility to potentially play in either defensive front. Could really be something if he’s able to continue adding moves and counters to his repertoire and maintain his athleticism while gaining additional bulk. Should go in the first round given the importance of finding edge defenders.