New York Giants: Joe Judge at Miami Pro Day where Gregory Rousseau worked out

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants brought back Leonard Williams this offseason, but that doesn’t rule out their interest in Gregory Rousseau completely. Rousseau has been one of the first players linked to the Giants with the 11th pick because of his status as one of the top pass rushers in this draft, and head coach Joe Judge was one of the NFL personnel in attendance at Rousseau’s pro day in Miami.

While there were multiple University of Miami football players on display during that pro day, we can probably assume that Rousseau is the one the Giants were interested in. He was, after all, one of the top pass rushers in the college game before opting out of last season.

His draft valuation has fallen, but that might be a good thing for the Giants if they do go with the option of trading back from the number eleven pick rather than spending it outright.

Rousseau’s 15.5 sacks in 2019 which put him behind Chase Young, who the Giants infamously missed out on, is his big draw. But his projections in mock drafts have fallen since the offseason started, in part because he’s not the kind of player that’s expected to become a hit right off the bat.

The Giants might have room for a project player on the line, however, as they already got their top pass rusher back with the big deal that Leonard Williams signed. At the end of the day, it looks like the Giants will have more interest in other players, but Rousseau presents an interesting option if they decide to trade back.

New York Giants well-represented, scouting Miami’s star-studded Pro Day

New York Giants, Gregory Rousseau

The 2021 NFL Draft is one month away. The New York Giants are preparing for an important draft to complete an impressive offseason that saw them knock the free agency period out of the park. New York signed multiple big-name free agents to address positions of need. But one position of need that the Giants did not address with a big splash in free agency was edge rusher.

The Giants signed a couple of low-cost, rotational edge rushers in free agency. Ifeadi Odenigbo and Ryan Anderson will contribute in 2021, but they are not dominant presences off the edge. It is possible that New York is still looking for that dominant edge rusher, though.

Today, the University of Miami had its Pro Day. It is officially Pro Day season, as all of the biggest schools in the country have been hosting Pro Days to show off their top draft prospects. Miami’s Pro Day drew a lot of attention today as they presented the NFL with their star pass-rushers. The New York Giants were in attendance as head coach Joe Judge stood next to Bill Belichick, keeping a close eye on Miami’s prospects. The assumption is that Joe Judge and the Giants made the trip to South Florida to get a closer look at Miami’s top pass rushers.

Miami’s edge rusher prospects

The top of the 2021 NFL Draft class features two impressive Miami edge rushers. Jaelan Phillips and Gregory Rousseau are both expected to be drafted in the first round of April’s draft. But outside of those top two edge rushers is another impressive Miami prospect. Quincy Roche is an intriguing name to keep an eye on outside of round one.

Gregory Rousseau

Gregory Rousseau had insane measurements at his Pro Day. He stands tall at 6 foot 6 and a half inches. But this lanky edge defender has some of the longest arms and biggest hands in the class. Rousseau’s hands measured in at a crazy 11 inches and his wingspan was 83 and 1/4 inches. These rare traits make Gregory an interesting prospect that has all the physical traits that could help mold him into a terrifying pass-rusher in the NFL.

Rousseau ran a solid 40-yard dash considering his size and weight. Gregory clocked in at 4.71/4.69s in the 40-yard dash. But it was his teammate, Jaelan Phillips, who really impressed scouts with his athletic testing.

Jaelan Phillips

Jaelan Phillips looked like an athletic freak at his Pro Day today. He ran a blazing fast 4.56s 40-yard-dash at 6 foot 5, 260 pounds. His agility drills were also impressive, as he posted a crazy 7.01s three-cone and 4.12s short shuttle. For reference, Nick Bosa’s 4.14s short shuttle tested in the 96th percentile. Phillips’s agility at his size is an extremely rare trait.

Phillips’s and Rousseau’s workouts are being compared as scouts, analysts, and fans alike debate who the better Miami edge rusher in this class is. Jaelan Phillips’s athletic testing was undeniably better than Rousseau’s and could propel Jaelan ahead of his teammate on draft boards. Many are disappointed by Gregory Rousseau’s testing numbers, which could cause him to slip in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Quincy Roche

Quincy Roche is Miami’s mid-round NFL Draft edge rusher that could be a solid value selection for the Giants to consider. Roche out-performed first-round prospect Gregory Rousseau in about every athletic test during today’s Pro Day. Quincy demonstrated surprisingly impressive athleticism and solid measurements as well. Quincy Roche ran an impressive 4.66s 40-yard dash today, just as fast as speedy Miami tight end Brevin Jordan.

Quincy Roche turned a lot of heads at his Pro Day. Roche, formerly considered to be a mid-round project, could rise up draft boards within the next month. Keep an eye on him as a potential target for the New York Giants as they look to bolster their edge rusher position.

New York Giants go defense in Daniel Jeremiah’s second mock draft

New York Giants, Gregory Rousseau

Amid others mocking Kyle Pitts or Jaylen Waddle to the New York Giants, NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah has an entirely different take on their upcoming draft. In his second mock draft, he sees the team addressing the potential pass rush need that will arise if they end up losing Leonard Williams in free agency.

The player that has been linked to the Giants repeatedly as an option to draft on defense is Gregory Rousseau, who has a strong record behind him but skipped out on the 2020 season. The missed time seems to not have impacted his draft stock much, and like wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Rousseau is still one of the top prospects in this year’s class.

Rousseau is also the player that Jeremiah sees the Giants taking even over receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, who Jeremiah predicts as being available when the Giants pick at eleven.

I know GM Dave Gettleman has let it be known that he wants to add playmakers on offense. At the end of the day, though, he’s not able to pass up the big, athletic edge rusher.

If the Giants indeed aren’t able to hold onto their top pass rusher, it’s easy to see why they would be interested. During the 2019 season, Rousseau had 15.5 sacks and was one of the top pass rushers in the country. On the other hand, it seems unlikely the franchise would pass on taking one of the draft’s top weapons to help out Daniel Jones next season.

The consensus on the likely pick, of course, is still split. Between Kyle Pitts, Jaylen Waddle, Rousseau, and DeVonta Smith, there’s a lot of names being mentioned as likely options. Until we get closer to the draft, we likely won’t know which has the best odds.

Why the New York Giants might draft defense at eleven overall

Micah Parsons, new york giants

The New York Giants are entering another crucial roster-building offseason. The biggest point of emphasis for the GIants’ front office this offseason is to revamp the offense. New York’s offense was pitiful in 2020 and they need to fix that to find success in 2021.

This has led many fans and analysts to speculate that the Giants will spend their first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on an offensive weapon. The Giants hold the eleventh overall pick in this year’s draft. This puts the team in perfect position to draft a top-tier wide receiver or tight end. But there are reasons to believe that the Giants could go defense with their number eleven pick in April.

Contingent on free agency

The Giants have a plethora of weaknesses on their roster. Ideally, fans would like to see the Giants add another talented cornerback to the mix and improve the pass-rush. Additionally, the Giants need to find their new offensive weapon. The Giants had interest in trading for Kenny Golladay back in October, so it is likely that they will pursue a wide receiver in free agency.

If the Giants do land one of those big-name free agent wide receivers, they could look to fill another one of those needs in the draft. The top of this year’s draft class features some prominent defensive prospects.

Deep wide receiver class

The Giants might not need to spend their first-round pick to get an offensive weapon. The 2021 NFL Draft class is loaded with wide receiver talent. There are prospects that will be available in the second and third rounds that have the potential to be quality starters in the NFL.

New York needs a new primary wide receiver for Daniel Jones to rely on in the passing game. If the Giants are unable to acquire one in free agency, it is likely that they will draft one in the first round, but it is not necessarily a guarantee. There are some very talented defensive prospects that the Giants could consider at eleven, before drafting a talented receiving option in the second round.

Micah Parsons, Caleb Farley, Gregory Rousseau, and other defenders might be enticing options for the Giants in the first round. Parsons is a rare linebacker prospect that could revolutionize the Giants’ defense. Farley is an intriguing cornerback option that could fill a huge hole in New York’s secondary. And Rousseau is a talented pass-rusher that could fill another need for the Giants on defense.

Taking one of these players in the first round would open up the possibility for the Giants to take a second-round wide receiver prospect. The electric Rondale Moore could be available in round two, as well as the human-joystick Kadarius Toney. This is a year where a team could realistically find a number one receiver in the second round. This could allow the New York Giants to draft a defensive prospect in round one.

Should the New York Giants consider DL Gregory Rousseau with the 11th overall pick?

New York Giants, Gregory Rousseau

The New York Giants could go in various different directions with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

Ultimately, they have several positions of weakness that need to be bolstered, but ownership has indicated that the offense could use resource allocations. Ever since Dave Gettleman drafted Daniel Jones in In 2019, he has done little to inject weapons around him, as Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard simply haven’t been enough.

Of course, it was impossible to know that Saquon Barkley would tear his ACL and miss a majority of the 2020 season, but Jones always needed a talented receiver who could beat man-coverage and stretch the field.

That is where the Giants will likely allocate the 11th overall pick, as Alabama stars DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle could fall right into their laps. If that is the case, the decision should be easy, but there’s always the possibility that their preferred receivers won’t be on the board. In that case, they could look to a pass rusher to bolster their defense.

The New York Giants could take a more risky approach:

One option is Miami standout Gregory Rousseau, who opted out of the 2020 season but had a phenomenal 2019 campaign. He will likely land in the middle of the first round after posting 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss.

However, some view Rousseau as a project that has raw athleticism and talent but simply isn’t refined. From a general standpoint, that opinion would be correct. He only has one real season of production as a freshman, and as a previous high school wide receiver and safety, the transition to the defensive line can be tumultuous when making the jump to the NFL.

Rousseau made a business decision by opting out, declaring for the NFL draft in a pass rush light year. After Chase Young and a bevy of talented defenders were plucked in 2020, this upcoming draft offers him a fantastic chance of going in the first round without much competition. His production is absolutely eye-popping, and his physical skill set makes him a potentially elite player, but his lack of fundamentals and technique shows up on tape.

At 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds, Rousseau undoubtedly has the tangible tools to be a quality player in the trenches, but he lacks the foundational strength to beat stronger and more physical lineman.

Despite his deficiencies, he would match up very well in Patrick Graham’s defensive scheme, which uses multiples and rotates players into different positions. In my opinion, Rousseau is the Isaiah Simmons of the defensive line, with the ability to play five-technique, three-technique, zero-technique, and even outside linebacker. His rangy athleticism would be a good fit on the outside in the Giants’ 3-4 scheme, and considering his ability to drop into coverage, Graham would have a field day with his physical traits.

However, drafting him at 11 would be a little bit optimistic for my liking. The only way I would consider him is if the Giants elect to trade back and acquired more assets. His physical tools are absolutely something to build around, and having talented coaches like Graham makes this a much more attractive draft pick.

Again, Rousseau is more of a project than an immediate plug-and-play, which actually constitutes him as more of a second-round player than first. The only reason he’s going so early is that there’s a lack of pass rush in the first round this year.

Should the New York Giants draft a pass rusher or wide receiver at 11?

New York Giants, Jaylen Waddle

The New York Giants have a few big decisions to make this off-season regarding cuts, free agent signings, and how they are going to allocate the 11th pack in the 2021 NFL draft. They can solve a few different positions in the draft, but it all depends on how things shake out and what players drop to them at 11.

After a 12 catch, 215 yards, and three-touchdown performance in the National Championship game, most would agree that star receiver for Alabama, DeVonta Smith, will likely be unavailable for the Giants. There are plenty of teams that need star wideouts that pick before them, but fellow receiver Jaylen Waddle could drop to them at 11.

Waddle is an explosive receiver with elite speed and the ability to play inside and out. The Giants lack a true high-end speed receiver, and Waddle could fit that bill easily, especially if they land a big body in free agency to pair with him.

Ultimately, if the speedster is available for the Giants, it will be extremely difficult for them to pass on him. His talents that receiver and ability as a return man or elite, and as we know, after the 2020 season, the Giants will take whatever they can get on offense.

This past year, the Giants average a measly 17.5 points per game, good for 31st in the NFL. Coordinator Jason Garrett underwhelmed with his route concepts and ability to push the ball downfield in man coverage. His playcalling was predictable and run heavy, which isn’t a negative thing — establishing the run is a fantastic way to open up the passing game. The issue, his route concepts were so predictable and lacked creativity, opposing defenses were simply running routes for the receivers. It took until week 17 for Garrett to figure out that Sterling Shepard was their primary red-zone threat, as he scored two touchdowns, doubling his total for the remainder of the year.

In my opinion, the Giants should be leaning toward an offensive weapon, but it is possible they could pick the top pass rusher available. Both Kwity Paye, a 6-foot-4, 272-pound defensive lineman from Michigan, or Gregory Rousseau from Florida, could be considerations.

Paye finished the 2020 season with 16 total tackles and 2.0 sacks over just four games. Most believe he is an incredibly talented pass rusher that could fit the Giants’ mold well. He has fantastic burst off the line of scrimmage and deceiving strength.

Paye is the type of player that could make the Giants’ defense a top-five unit, given his ability off the edge. However, he is traditionally a defensive end, and the Giants utilize outside linebackers in their primary 3-4 scheme. With that being said, if the Giants are forced to let Delvin Tomlinson or Leonard Williams walk this off-season, drafting Paye as their primary pass rusher would be a great supplement.

Then you have Rousseau, who didn’t participate in the 2020 season but was phenomenal in 2019, earning 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. At 6-foot-7 and 265 pounds, Rousseau has incredible tangibles and the potential to be an All-Pro pass rusher. The primary argument here is, if you have an elite pass rusher and a wide receiver on the board, it is incredibly difficult to pass on the defensive star. The Giants can always allocate free agency money toward acquiring a number one WR.

New York Giants Go For Defensive End In 2021 Mock Draft

New York Giants

The New York Giants missed on getting the star defensive end they were looking for in the 2019 NFL Draft. That’s not to say that the team’s pick for the offensive line, Andrew Thomas, isn’t capable. But there was definitely a big appeal in Chase Young and the skills he brings to the table.

The Giants were mocked to take Young for much of the year once their losing record grew worse over the season. However, picking up late season wins threw Big Blue just out of the spot they needed to be in to take the Draft’s highest rated pass rusher.

According to the latest 2021 mock draft from Bleacher Report, the Giants are going to take another swing at improving the defensive line next year.

Who’s mocked to the Giants for 2021?

The mock draft has the Giants taking Gregory Rousseau from Miami with the number five overall pick. Assuming the Giants will pick at number five is something of a pessimistic prediction, but what would the Giants be getting for the pick if they did go with Rousseau?

As a redshirt freshman, Miami’s Gregory Rousseau finished second at the FBS level with 15.5 sacks (one behind Chase Young) and tied for seventh with 19.5 tackles for loss.

The 6’7″, 253-pound Rousseau is far from a finished product since he needs to improve upon his first-step explosion and working off the edge to pressure opposing quarterbacks. But his length and athleticism make him difficult to handle, especially for interior offensive linemen when the defensive end moves inside during certain sub-packages.

The reigning ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year should continue to develop and mature, making him even more difficult to handle.

Sacks hasn’t been a friendly stat to the Giants in any of the recent past years. They tend to hang somewhere around the bottom of the league in the category and it’s regarded as one of the weakest points of the team. Leonard Williams was partly brought in to help with the problem but so far hasn’t added much in that regard, though his non-sack quarterback hits numbers are impressive.

The Giants could definitely gain something from adding another promising defensive player who was the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.

However, the mock draft is still far out meaning things could change between then and now, and just about all the fans will be hoping that the team isn’t picking as high as number five overall when the draft rolls around again next year.