Vikings Draft 2021: Pre-Super Bowl five-round mock draft
By Nik Edlund
First Round (Pick No. 14)
Gregory Rousseau – DE (Miami)
If the Vikings are going to be better in 2021 than they were in 2020, they have to improve their defense. The quickest solution to doing that will be to improve the pass rush and that is what they need to do with the 14th overall pick.
This could come in the form of an edge rusher or a dominating three-technique interior disruptor. There currently seems to be a trio of pass rushers that have been linked to Minnesota at this pick and it’s made up of Michigan’s Kwity Paye, Alabama’s Christian Barmore, and this freak from Miami who is the choice here, Gregory Rousseau.
Rousseau is the prototypical defensive end standing at 6-foot-7 and weighing in at 265 pounds. He’s got arms that go on forever and plays the game with a feverish intensity.
Rousseau burst onto the scene with 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss in 2019. He’s also better against the run than one would think, as he uses his long arms to get off blocks and snatch onto ball carries as they are trying to scoot past him.
It’s mouth-watering to envision this guy lining up opposite Danielle Hunter on the Vikings defensive line and watching them wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
Now, there are some concerns with Rousseau. The first is that he only has one productive season under his belt which makes him a bit of a one-year wonder. He also opted out of playing in 2020, so 2019 is the only tape scouts have to go off of.
Rousseau is a boom or bust pick, but if he can become the type of pass rusher his 2019 tape suggests, then Minnesota will hit a home run with this choice.