The Jets could target an edge rusher with their No. 23 overall pick in the first round. Enter: Miami’s Gregory Rousseau.
Gregory Rousseau Info
- Defensive end, Miami
- 6-foot-7, 265 pounds
- First-team All-ACC and second-team All-American in 2019
- ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2019
- 2019 stats: 54 combined tackles (34 solo), 19.5 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks, two forced fumbles in 13 games
- Opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns
How Rousseau would fit in with the Jets
The Jets made the defensive line a point of emphasis during this year’s free agency period, agreeing to a three-year deal with defensive end Carl Lawson. The now-former Cincinnati Bengal will certainly start and become a huge asset within Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich’s front seven.
This type of acquisition was a must given the Jets’ struggles in the pass-rushing department last year, and to further improve that area of the game, the team could add Miami’s Gregory Rousseau if he’s available at No. 23 overall.
Rousseau would be a tremendous complement to Lawson and could learn from the veteran defensive end. The soon-to-be rookie would additionally start and the selection would provide the Jets with reliable and (hopefully) dominant pass rushers on either side of the line in Saleh’s 4-3 scheme.
Rousseau is the third-ranked 2021 NFL Draft edge rusher via Pro Football Focus, so the Jets would definitely benefit from utilizing their valuable late first-round pick on the current 20-year-old.
2021 NFL Draft edge defender rankings
1. Kwity Paye, Michigan
2. Jayson Oweh, Penn State
3. Gregory Rousseau, Miami
4. Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
5. Jaelan Phillips, Miami
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 22, 2021
Rousseau Film Notes
Rousseau and Miami’s November 2019 win over Florida State
Rousseau notched eight combined tackles (seven solo) with five tackles for loss and four sacks during the victory.
Rousseau doesn’t give up on plays, that’s for sure. And in this initial clip, he makes an athletic move and utilizes his long arms and superb wingspan to slow down the ball carrier after initially fighting off the block.
Rousseau puts his pass-rushing skills on display in this clip, making a strong initial move and employing good vision to find an open lane to the backfield, locate the quarterback, and come away with the sack.
His above-average acceleration on this play allows him to get to the quarterback in order to disrupt the attempted dump-off screen pass.
Rousseau fights through blocks in this clip, conjuring up the strength to get to the quarterback for the sack. Just a tenacious play from the Hurricane standout.
Great vision and footwork is used here; Rousseau doesn’t bite on the play fake and ends up making a great tackle behind the line of scrimmage on what was a designed quarterback run.
And one more for the road: Early in the fourth quarter of this victory, Rousseau portrays how talented he is at shedding blocks and still conjuring up the speed and acceleration to reach the quarterback for the sack.
Rousseau and Miami’s October 2019 win over Virginia
Rousseau recorded seven total tackles (four solo) with two tackles for loss and a sack in the win.
Early in this October 2019 victory, Rousseau makes an athletic move to shed a block and get to former Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins for the tackle at the line of scrimmage.
In this clip, Gregory avoids getting flushed out of the play and still is athletic enough to get in on the eventual tackle.
This highlight possesses a great mix of speed, acceleration, and strength from Rousseau when it matters most — he sprints into the backfield essentially untouched for the tackle-for-loss on 4th & 1.
Rousseau uses his electric speed to hurry Perkins into throwing the ball away on this play.
As previously mentioned, Rousseau is unwilling to take plays off, and on this one, he initially gets blocked but implements an athletic move in order to get to the quarterback.
And finally, the potential 2021 first-rounder (and possible Jet) fights through a double-team on this play and forces a fumble on a sack of Perkins.
It’s clear Rousseau is arguably the best edge rusher prospect in this draft — potentially a more valuable one than Michigan’s Kwity Paye or Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari. The size, strength, speed, and vision all coming together on a number of plays is what makes Rousseau so intriguing, and for the Jets, they better hope his stock doesn’t rise to the point where he’s off the board at No. 23.