Quincy Roche and Gregory Rousseau are going to be the fearsome duo on the defensive line for the Miami Hurricanes this season. Both of these players have the ability to be first round selections in the upcoming draft, but who has the EDGE?
Both Roche and Rousseau are athletic. Roche can win both inside and outside with explosiveness and strength while using pass rush moves. On the other hand, Rousseau wins with pure athleticism. He wins with speed and strength without using pass rush moves to get to opposing quarterbacks. Projected to run a sub 4.6 second 40 yard dash at the combine, is more than a tenth of a second faster than Roche’s projected time.
It is becoming more and more critical for prospects to be able to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks and both have their strengths. Roche, as previously mentioned, wins with an explosive first step and strength. Roche has an arsenal of pass rush moves to counter offensive linemen giving him the slight edge over Rousseau.
Rousseau is raw in many areas of his game including his pass rush ability. Relying on his athleticism is how he wins. However, in college this strategy works, but in the NFL, Rousseau will need to develop this area of his game to maximize his potential.
Although Rousseau does not use pass rush moves to create pressure, he still manages to be very disruptive, accounting for 15.5 sacks in 13 games last season. I think it is only fair to award points to both prospects.
As Booger McFarland might say, “If they don’t pass the ball here, the defense will need to defend the run,” well said, Booger. Both prospects show the ability to get off blocks and find the runner in traffic, but Rousseau does it better. Rousseau has a motor that won’t quit until the whistle blows. Roche can get lackadaisical, and not help finish plays which is a knock in the run game to me. Points awarded to Rousseau.
Roche and Rousseau both have potential to be first round selections, but who has the highest ceiling in the NFL? It has to be Rousseau. Although his game is more raw, his versatility in scheme fit, size, athleticism, and production will not go unnoticed by scouts. All Rousseau has to do is develop some pass rush moves and counters to be a near lock for the first EDGE prospect taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, all things that can be coached.
At this moment, the Miami Hurricanes have a deadly duo on the defensive line, but one stands out, and it is Gregory Rousseau. Rousseau has the ability and production to be the first defensive lineman taken in the draft due to his natural ability. Roche, although more refined as a pass rusher at this point in time, does not have the tremendous upside of Rousseau. Gregory Rousseau and Quincy Roche are names to watch this season, and don’t be surprised if you hear both names called on draft day.