Draft season never truly ends, it just rolls on from studying one class to the next.
Last week ESPN’s Todd McShay released his first (ridiculously) early mock draft, and this week he’s followed by a mock draft from analytics outlet Pro Football Focus.
PFF has theNew York Giants drafting seventh overall, and like McShay have them drafting a defensive player. But where McShay went with a linebacker, PFF has the Giants selecting Miami EDGE Gregory Rousseau.
7. NEW YORK GIANTS — EDGE GREGORY ROUSSEAU, MIAMI (FL)
Rousseau is still more projection than performance after earning an 80.7 pass-rushing grade last season, but boy is his high-end special. At 6-foot-6, 265 pounds, Rousseau has the frame and athleticism to play any position from standup outside linebacker to 3-technique. Actually, his best reps came on the interior, where he earned an 88.3 pass-rushing grade on 79 such snaps.
Raptor’s Thoughts: And as we look ahead to the 2020 season it looks as though there are a few positions which the New York Giants should focus their attentions for the 2021 draft. The most obvious right now are EDGE, wide receiver, and cornerback.
PFF has the top wide receiver, LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase going to the New York Jets at 6th, just before the Giants are due to be on the clock. Given that Chase is off the board, Rousseau has to be the pick here.
I tend to think about pass rushers in terms of pitching staffs. Having a solid, dependable rotation is all well and good, but you need that top-of-the-rotation “Ace” to contend with good teams. The Giants don’t have that player right now, but Rousseau has the potential.
Despite being listed at 6-foot-6, 265 pounds, Rousseau manages to look both longer and leaner than those numbers would indicate. He has plenty of play strength, but his length belies great first-step quickness that lets him beat offensive tackles off the snap. He also has a solid understanding of how to use his length to his advantage as a pass rusher — something somewhat rare in college prospects. He has a devastating swipe move that can have him through gaps and past blockers before they can react.
Former NFL scout and current NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah had this to say about Rousseau.
Rousseau opted out of the 2020 season, but that could work to the Giants’ benefit here. Had Rousseau played this year, he might have built on the 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss in 2019, which would surely vault him into the top five and out of the Giants’ reach here. Even so, it would almost be a shock to see him last to seventh overall, at least as things stand now.