Miami Hurricanes DE Greg Rousseau falls in latest PFF mock draft

MIAMI, FLORIDA - (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Once thought to be a potential top-five or 10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, former Miami Hurricanes defensive end Greg Rousseau is projected to be selected 23rd by Pro Football Focus in the 2021 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. The Jets own the 23rd pick from Seattle in the trade that sent safety Jamal Adams to the Seahawks.

Rousseau had a breakout season for Miami as a redshirt freshman in 2019. After making 54 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks in his first full season with the Hurricanes, Rousseau chose to opt-out for the 2020 season. When Rousseau opted out in August was projected as at least a top 10 2021 NFL Draft pick.

Rousseau was incredibly efficient in 2019 making his 15.5 sacks on 46 pressures. Some of the criticism and likely the reason Rousseau is falling frequently in mock drafts is that many analysts question if he can continue to produce sacks at the pace he did in 2019. Rousseau has often been compared to Calais Campbell.

The 15.5 sacks Rousseau produced were the most by Campbell who had 10.5 and former Miami Hurricanes defensive lineman Kareem Brown had 11 in 2006. Rousseau produced the second-most sacks in a season in Miami history tied with former All-American Greg Mark behind the record of 17 by Daniel Stubbs.

"23. NEW YORK JETS (FROM SEATTLE): EDGE GREGORY ROUSSEAU, MIAMIWith their second pick in the round, the Jets attack a need with a player who could develop into the top edge defender in the class. Rousseau has incredible size at a listed 6-foot-6.He opted out after notching 16 sacks in 2019, and given that he only had 46 pressures that season, there’s some uncertainty around his future production. However, Rousseau has the tools to continue his development, and he’s worth a look for a Jets team that must create pressure with its front four."

Rousseau is still extremely early in his development as a pass rusher. A high school wide receiver and safety, Rousseau missed most of his true freshman season with the Miami Hurricanes in 2018 with an injury. The size and athleticism that Rousseau will provide in the NFL made him an intriguing draft prospect.

At 265 pounds, Rousseau has the ideal size to play DE in a 4-3 defense or the athleticism to move outside as a linebacker in a 3-4. Campbell is the player Rousseau is most often compared to. At 6’8, 300, Campbell is listed as a defensive tackle in the Baltimore Ravens 3-4 that includes a nose tackle and DE on their defensive line.

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The NFL combine should help Rousseau. How well Rousseau measures out, performs in the drills and passes the interview process will influence where he is draft. It will be interesting to see how video that will be 16 months old by the NFL Draft is conducted in April will impact where he is chosen in the NFL Draft.