*Walt taking 2014 and 2018
Charlie Campbell, Senior Draft Analyst
Rousseau Voted Most Overrated ProspectUpdated March 11, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
With every NFL draft, there are some prospects who receive a lot of media accolades but who NFL scouts are not nearly as high on. That can lead to some “surprising” draft-day slides for the media and fans that aren’t actually surprising at all to NFL teams. WalterFootball.com recently surveyed a number of team sources as to who they believed was the most over-rated/over-hyped prospect for the 2021 NFL Draft. The overwhelming reponse returned was that Miami defensive end Gregory Rousseau has a much higher profile with public than with teams.
After missing 2018 with an ankle injury, Rousseau broke out in 2019 with 15.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, 19.5 tackles for a loss and 54 tackles. Beyond that production, Rousseau has good size at 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, so teams were eager to see him in 2020, but Rousseau decided to sit out the season. That has left teams having to pore over his 2019 tape very closely.
“If you really watch [Rousseau] and focus in on him, he is not a fast or explosive pass rusher,” said an area scout. “He is long, but not physical and the sack total is misleading. He will have to become a power player, and it might take a year or two for that to happen, if it ever does.”
Other evaluators mentioned Rousseau not being fast, explosive, or physical as well. They also cited him being a 1-year wonder, and sitting out the 2020 season did nothing to assuage concerns the 2019 season could have been a flash in the pan. Another area scout said their team had a third-round grade on Rousseau. Despite Rousseau being viewed as overrated, all of the team sources thought he would be an early-rounder and likely to go in the mid- to late portion of the opening night of the 2021 NFL Draft. This is considered a weak class for defensive line talent, which is always a need around the league, so Rousseau faces less first-round competition compared to a typical year.
Other prospects who received votes for being the most overrated included Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater, Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.
A couple of team sources said they had Surtain graded as a late first-rounder and felt that is where he belongs because he is not a twitchy corner with sudden movement skills. They believe he will need to be protected and not matched up against certain NFL receivers. Thereby, they think he is a reach as a pick in the top half of the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. They have Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley and South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn graded over Surtain.
As reported in the Hot Press in February, sources from multiple teams say Parsons is getting hurt significantly for character concerns. Some sources call Parsons underwhelming as a player. Those sources believe Parsons is a “clean air” linebacker who is not real physical in terms of taking on blocks and doesn’t play downhill.
A few team sources said they had a second-round grade on Slater because they don’t see him as a tackle in the NFL. “The media was talking up his tape against Chase Young, but it was not as impressive as I expected,” said an area scout. “We see [Slater] as a guard and have him in Round 2.”
While Rousseau, Slater, Surtain and Parsons received are perceived as overrated by sources around the league, it only takes one team to fall in love. All four of these prospects are stil expected to be selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft despite some teams thinking they are overhyped players.