The big-name opt-out counter is now up to four with Miami Edge Rusher, Gregory Rousseau opting out on Thursday, according to Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times. Rousseau follows Virginia Tech Cornerback, Caleb Farley, Minnesota Receiver, Rashod Bateman, and Penn State Linebacker, Micah Parsons as the four big-name players deciding not to play during the 2020 season.
As a redshirt freshman last season, Rousseau snagged 15.5 sacks which were second in the nation, only behind Chase Young. The Draft Network currently has him ranked as the seventh-best prospect heading into the 2021 draft. He was arguably the top-ranked edge rusher and came in at an astonishing 6’7″ and 265lbs.
Unlike the other three players that have opted out though, Rousseau could’ve used another year of tape as he only has one at the college level. He has all the physical tools to succeed at the next level but needs some polishing. As seen in his highlight video above, he never gives up and has a high motor that is running at all times. Not only is he able to play on the edge, but Miami used him on the interior as well. He needs to develop more as an edge rusher as he played receiver and safety in high school and now without his redshirt sophomore season, would be wise to stay next year instead of declaring for this year’s draft. If he were to declare, he could fall further down the first round. Right now, he is similar to what Marcus Davenport was coming into the NFL.
The Hurricanes, coming off of a 6-7 season last year, desperately needed Rousseau to compete in the ACC this year. Without him, Miami will be leaning on Temple transfer, Quincy Roche, and Jaelan Phillips to lead the pass rush unit.
With Rousseau now opting out, the 2021 draft class is without four potential first-round picks this year. Daniel Jeremiah projects more are still to come and it’s only a matter of time before some players from key College Football Playoff contenders will be without some of their star players this year.
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