Florida is ground zero for college football recruiting. Miami Hurricanes defensive end Greg Rousseau who sat out the 2020 season was the fifth player selected in the 2021 NFL Draft who played high school football in Florida. Those rankings include IMG Academy who has players on their roster from across the United States.
The rise by Rousseau is remarkable. Rousseau was the 485th ranked player, 27th ranked weakside defensive end and 80th ranked player in Florida in the 2018 signing class. Rousseau was 6’6, 222 pounds when he signed with Miami in 2018. As the 30th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Rousseau is listed at 6’7, 266 pounds.
Rousseau was drafted by the Buffalo Bills where he will be behind veterans Mario Addison and Jerry Hughes. Buffalo also has 2020 second-round pick A.J. Espensa and 2021 second-round pick, Carlos “Boogie” Basham as edge rushers. Rousseau is viewed as a project who has to work on his skills against the run.
Patrick Surtain II who prepped at American Heritage in Fort Lauderdale and played collegiately at Alabama was the ninth pick overall in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Surtain was the sixth-ranked player nationally, the top-ranked cornerback and second-ranked player in Florida in the Class of 2018.
The other players who prepped in Florida during high school who was drafted ahead of Rousseau were Alabama quarterback Mac Jones who was selected 15th overall by New England, Crimson Tide left tackle Alex Leatherwood 17th to the Raiders and Northwestern CB Greg Newsome to Cleveland 26th.
Many draft analysts project Rousseau to have one of the lowest floors and highest ceilings in the 2021 NFL Draft. Rousseau could be one of the biggest boom or bust candidates in the 2021 NFL Draft. In one season for the Miami Hurricanes in 2019, Rousseau had 54 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks.