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Colts Select Miami Edge Gregory Rousseau in Mel Kiper Jr.’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 09 Louisville at Miami Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. (subscription), the Indianapolis Colts will select Miami pass rusher Gregory Rousseau with the 21st overall pick in his 2021 NFL Mock Draft 3.0:

21. Indianapolis Colts

Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami

Under general manager Chris Ballard, the Colts never go all out in free agency, focusing instead on low-cost, short-term deals. And even though they could still bring back veteran edge rusher Justin Houston, this could be a spot to take a young defender. Rousseau had 15.5 sacks in 2019 and then opted out of this past season. He has an up-and-down evaluation, but you can’t deny his production and size (6-foot-7, 250 pounds). He has a high ceiling. Indianapolis also has a hole at left tackle after Anthony Costanzo retired.

Notable free-agent additions: DT Isaac Rochell

Notable free-agent losses: QB Jacoby Brissett, DE Denico Autry, LB Anthony Walker

Rousseau is considered one of this year’s draft’s top pass rushing prospects.

Regarding Rousseau:

“The 6’7”, 265 pound pass rusher opted out of playing for the 2020 season amid COVID-19 concerns.

However, Rosseau’s just a year removed from a stat-stuffing 15.5 sack with the Hurricanes during 2019, as he also recorded 54 tackles (34 solo), 19.5 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and a pass defensed during 13 games (7 starts) that season.

The redshirt freshman earned All-ACC First-Team, ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, All-America Second-Team (FWAA), and Freshman All-America for his spectacular 2019 season.”

Here’s NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah’s scouting report on Rousseau, who he ranks as the NFL draft’s 13th best prospect overall—meaning he could potentially be a great value falling back to the Colts with the 21st overall selection:

13. Gregory Rousseau

Miami · Edge rusher · Sophomore (RS)

Rousseau is a tall, long and rangy defender. He aligned all over the front in Miami’s scheme and was extremely productive in 2019 despite having limited experience on the defensive line (he played safety and wide receiver in high school). He lacks an elite get-off as a pass rusher, but his combination of quick hands, length and instincts leads to sacks and pressures in bunches. He has an effective swipe/rip move and he can close/finish. He didn’t show much power early in the ‘19 season, but he got better every week. By the end of the season, he flashed the ability to convert speed to power (see: Duke game). He is very comfortable and effective rushing inside. In the run game, he uses his length to set the edge, but he does get too high at times. His effort is excellent. Overall, Rousseau is still developing, but he has found a way to post elite production while learning on the job. His best football is ahead of him.

As well as what some others are saying on the Hurricanes’ standout product:

The Colts could obviously use some edge help, as while the team signed Isaac Rochell, Indianapolis also lost starter Denico Autry in free agency—and fellow free agents Justin Houston and Al-Quadin Muhammad could soon join his recent departure.

Rousseau appears to be a bit raw and is still developing as a pass rusher—with only one year of production, but he has the physical tools to be an impact sackmaster at the next level. However, it’s not without risk, as there’s some ‘boom or bust’ potential here.

However, given the Colts’ hole at pass rusher and an overall need for an infusion of youth, quickness, athleticism, and bend off the edge, Rousseau is a prospect to watch out for.