*Our DL grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.


Gregory Rousseau is an interesting/polarizing NFL prospect for both scouts and analysts.

I see some football people diving right in with Rousseau as the top EDGE rusher, without a doubt…or having a fun-fight about him or Kwity Paye as #1 – and either way, they usually rank both as top 10-20 overall prospects. However, I also see some football people (a minority, but not a small one) who have questions about Rousseau, and they have him as the #3-4-5 best EDGE prospect and not even in the 1st-round.

I went into this study assuming I would see the top 10-20 overall hype guy. I mean, it’s pretty simple…big guy, big reach, big numbers/excellent 2019 (skipped out on 2020) – how could he not be a top guy in the draft? Well, I just conducted my deeper scouting on Rousseau, and I am going with the not so tiny/growing minority – I have more questions/concerns than I do warm and fuzzy feelings about Rousseau’s translation to the NFL.

*Note: I have yet to study Kwity Paye yet. Rousseau is my first deep-dive EDGE/DE prospect study. Paye is next. I will compare and contrast the two in the Paye report, I’m sure.

Now, there is a case to be made that Rousseau is a top EDGE prospect. He’s not without merit. I can just tell you this – he’s absolutely not Chase Young or Nick Bosa or Montez Sweat or Josh Allen or any recent high-end pass rush prospect you can think of. Rousseau is not elite out of the gates. At best, you’re hoping you can develop Rousseau into a higher end, but probably is more likely to become a ‘B’ than an ‘A’ grade in the NFL.

The ‘A’ hopes are built on these two things:

(1) Huge 2019 season…15.5 sacks in 13 games, in his first real season of play (broke his ankle true freshman 2018 and missed all but one game).

(2) really long prospect…could be 6’7” and he was a WR prospect at one time, so he has an ‘athletic’ label.

I see several problems with the ‘A’ case, and thus he’s not going to be an ‘A’ prospect for us.

Deconstructing Rousseau:

- Huge 2019 season, but when I watch the tape…the on-field doesn’t really match the numbers. The output was terrific. But I watch his best games, and I see him getting sacks by rushing as a lined-up DT (not EDGE)…a fake out of the O-Line by lining up differently than expected -- this big tall guy slices past college interior linemen. Or I see Rousseau getting too many of his sacks off the edge by just being around/in the area as the QB is flushed or on the move. It’s good that Rousseau gets the sack, but I don’t see him forcing the issue as much with his skill/rush…he’s just there in the neighborhood and has nice reach.

-In reality, to me, Rousseau is very timid as a pass rusher…for a few problematic reasons.

1) He comes off the snap pretty slowly...I think he is so gangly that it takes him a beat to get everything in motion (just a crude way to try to explain). Losing a beat/time off the snap is huge.

2) But the real killer is he is thinner-framed/not bulky or muscular. Rousseau doesn’t have a lot of mass/force ramming into the opposing offensive blocker.

I can tell the difference in a good or bad or great pass rusher by how much trouble they give to their blocker, not by sack counts or any other existing metric. They don’t have to get the sack but I want to know -- are they a menace on every snap. When I watch, do I think…’virtually unblockable’? Nick Bosa was a force. Chase Young had some of that too. I don’t see it with Rousseau. He is swallowed up by blockers pretty easily.

Rousseau has to get to use his range/reach to his advantage or line up in unorthodox places to get to the QB. As a straight up pass rush force…I don’t see it.

When I watched his 2019 work…I was more impressed with the other Miami pass rushers/D-Linemen than with Rousseau.

3) That frame of his could be the big issue…he looks more like a WR than DE (which is what he wanted to be, a WR), and if he doesn’t test ultra-quick at his Pro Day…then he is going to be an easy mark for offensive tackles in the NFL to keep away from the backfield. I saw this issue on his college tape…it can’t get better in the pros.

IF Rousseau tests off the charts in speed/agility/burst at his Pro Day, I’d reconsider this grading some. AND Rousseau could have used 2020 opt-out to transform his body and maybe he’s a different cat at his 3/29 Pro Day. It could happen…and that’s his upside.

Rousseau was a three-star recruit (not that the star system is ever right)…I think because he wasn’t a ‘wow’ athlete, and had a WR’s heart that had to be arm-twisted into playing DE. Miami didn’t even start Rousseau the first 6 games of his excellent 2019 season. It’s very possible that Rousseau is good…but had great output through some variance of ‘luck’…and now a legend has been built – high school prospect graders, and his own coaches 6 games into 2019 (his 2nd year in the program) didn’t see a starter/star – but now everyone does?

I think there is cause for concern here. Not that he isn’t a legit prospect, but that he’s not a for sure high-end one, a top 10-20 type prospect. His Pro Day could shift some of my thinking but going into it – I don’t believe Rousseau is an elite prospect – we can debate ‘good’ (because of body work that could be done) or ‘mediocre’, but I’m not close to debating him as elite.


Gregory Rousseau, Through the Lens of Our DE Scouting Algorithm:

-- 5.0 TFLs/4.0 sacks vs. Florida State in 2019 -- but watching that tape…a lot of lined-up as a DT trickery for sacks, or flushed into his sacks, or ‘him landing on a pile’ for a half-sack count. His big, signature game…not really that great in reality.

 -- Registered a sack in nine of 13 games in 2019. He did put up the output. He does give a solid effort chasing activity near the line of scrimmage, but I see him being lazy a lot when the play is further away. I don’t see a fire in Rousseau’s play off the snap or on plays further away. Not a total, obvious slug…but I see some signs for concern. 

 -- Trying to put his output in context…his surrounding D-Line mates were very good. Rousseau got some free rides off their pressure, especially when he lined-up as a DT in a 4-3 look. Jonathan Garvin (2020 NFL Draft pick, GB 7th-round) looked more urgent, impressive than Rousseau to me (just as an aside not really focusing in on Garvin but noticing him on Rousseau’s tape time and time again). 

Pro Day Estimates…

6’5”+ (not the 6’7” billed)/250-255 not the 265+ billed. 34”+ arms.

4.6+ 40-time, 7.1+ three-cone, and I bet he skips the bench press with his longer, lankier arms. 

The Historical DE Prospects to Whom Gregory Rousseau Most Compares Within Our System:

Rousseau tracks with mostly EDGE rushers who had solid NFL careers, and some nice output seasons. I think Rousseau has more red flags than the better names on this comp list. 

DE Score








Tackle, Strngth Metric

Speed, Agility Metric

Pass Rush Metric

Tackle Metric





















































Boston Coll












Concordia-St. P








*A score of 8.00+ is where we see a stronger correlation of DEs going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of 10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system and indicates a greater probability of becoming an elite NFL DE.

All of the DE ratings are based on a 0–10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

Power-Strength Metrics = A combination of several measurements. An attempt to classify the DE prospect as more of a battle-in-the-trenches type of DE, a 'bull-rusher', and/or a DE prospect who has some DT capabilities.

Speed-Agility Metrics = A combination of several speed, agility, size measurements. A unique measuring system to look for DEs who profile more as speed-rush, stand-up DEs, and/or possible OLBs.

Pass-Rusher Rating = A combination of physical measurables, and college performance, graded historically for future NFL profiling. In the simplest of terms, this is an attempt to classify whether a particular DE is likely to achieve high sack totals in the NFL. We know the 'system'/scheme the DE goes on to play in has a part in future success...but so do the player's skills and performance history. "You can't keep a good man/DE down," we'd like to think.

Tackling Rating = A combination of physical measurables, and college performance, graded historically for future NFL profiling. In the simplest of terms, this is an attempt to classify the DE as one more likely to be involved in a heavy amount of tackles, tackles for a loss, and forced fumbles. Lower-scoring DEs in this subcategory tend to be more pure pass-rushers/specialists. This is also our attempt to quantify, if it's possible, the 'toughness' of a player.

2021 NFL Draft Outlook:

In the end, I think Rousseau will be a 1st-round pick…if he measures 6’5”+, and especially if he’s 6’6”+ at his Pro Day. He has many eye-pleasing attributes that scouts are attracted to. You can project an upside here, and it’s real. 

If I were an NFL GM, for the price, I’d skip Rousseau. He is a legit ‘prospect’ but not a given…so I’m not paying the heavy price to find out he’s too soft, can’t add bulk, and thus isn’t a game-changer, just a ‘chaser’. I’d look elsewhere for my pass rush hopes – whether draft or low-key free agent signings or clever trades of under-the-radar hopefuls. 

NFL Outlook:   

I think there is more ‘pressure’ on the possibility Rousseau is a C-D grade reality in the NFL than an A-B grade smart payoff pick, instant impact guy and long-term asset. 

Rousseau can have decent output in the NFL, in terms of sacks, by using his range…but will he be a ‘force’ at EDGE rusher? I lean ‘no’.