Miami Hurricanes DE Greg Rousseau hindered by lack of tape for NFL teams

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 21: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 21: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Miami Hurricanes defensive end Greg Rousseau had a breakout season in 2019 with 54 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks, one pass breakup, one fumble recovery and two forced fumbles. Rousseau was second nationally in sacks in 2019 to Chase Young of Ohio State who was the second pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Rousseau who was a three-star signee with the Miami Hurricanes in 2018 played only 15 college games before opting out of the 2020 season. Rousseau played two for Miami as a true freshman in 2018 before his season ended with a broken ankle allowing him to take a medical redshirt.

Draft analysts seem split on Rousseau who is currently listed with an average draft position of 29.7 according to Pro Football Focus. The lack of experience for Rousseau plus the numbers he put up at Miami’s Pro Day have caused his stock to plummet over the last month. Rousseau is still expected to be a borderline first-round pick.

At 6’6, 265 pounds, Rousseau has the size to play DE in the NFL. Rousseau has shown the skill set to rush the passer from the edge or inside and be able to occasionally drop back into coverage. Rousseau was profiled by 247 Sports as part of their look at how opting out of the 2020 season can impact where a player is drafted.

"“The problem for NFL teams? There is not enough film of Rousseau to evaluate. He has played in only 14 games, including 546 snaps in college. His production was incredible in 2019 as he sacked quarterbacks on 5.5 percent of pass-rushing plays. His numbers at Miami’s Pro Day opened eyes, too.He was faster than Chase, a receiver, with a 10-yard split of 1.57 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Still, some scouts view him as a raw player.”"

Several other elite players who are expected to be draft early opted out of the 2020 season. One of the other criticisms of Rousseau was his lack of consistency against the run according to 247 Sports. The lack of a complete college career will impact some players and not others. Several opt-outs will be taken in the first round.

The doubts about Rousseau can be a motivating factor. Rousseau had one of the best years by a defensive lineman in Miami Hurricanes history. The 15.5 sacks Rousseau had are the second-most sacks in Miami history tying Greg Mark from 1989 and second to Daniel Stubbs with 17 in 1986.

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In addition to the reasons listed, Rousseau had to compete in pro day with Jaelan Phillips whose numbers would have been among the best if a more traditional combine had been conducted. Although Phillips and Rousseau did not play together, entering the same NFL Draft out of Miami they will always be compared.