As the days inch closer to July 28th, the deadline for Markus Golden to find a contract elsewhere, a scenario where the New York Giants retain their leading sack artist from a season ago grows ever more likely.
Still, even with all signs pointing towards a reunion between the two, Big Blue showed their hand this offseason when it comes to how they value Golden. He’s certainly not a cornerstone for their defense moving forward, and despite registering the first double-digit sack season by a Giants player since 2014 he will likely be given an opportunity to once again seek employment elsewhere following the conclusion of his (pending) one-year, $5.225 million contract.
Aside from Golden, the G-Men currently have rising sophomore Oshane Ximines, the highly-intriguing Lorenzo Carter, and low-risk free-agent addition Kyler Fackrell in the fold to man the edge of their defense. Still, after just missing out on blue-chip prospect Chase Young in this past April’s NFL Draft, New York continues to lack the pass-rushing prowess that their previous Super Bowl teams were built on.
That could all change if Bleacher Report’s Brett Sobleski’s 2021 Mock Draft somehow plays out as planned, some nine months from now.
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Giants Land Gregory Rousseau in 2021 Mock Draft
Unfortunately, Sobleski doesn’t see the Giants returning to their winning ways in 2020, locking up the 5th-overall pick in his 2021 mock draft. With that said, it does allow them to land an elite edge-rushing prospect, in Miami (FL)’s Gregory Rousseau.
The New York Giants have used three straight top-10 picks on offensive prospects. It’s time to spend a high-end asset on the other side of the ball. In this scenario, the organization is positioned to take the first defensive player off the board.
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 former high school wide receiver and safety is a freakish specimen with loads of untapped potential. Checking in at 6-foot-7-inches and 253-pounds, Rousseau boasts one of the most explosive first-steps in college football.
The reigning ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year flashed his pass-rushing skills in 2019, accumulating 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in what was only his redshirt freshman season.
Rousseau Likened to Chase Young
Rousseau’s absurd numbers a season ago was second in the country, only to eventually 2nd-overall draft pick, Chase Young. This seems quite fitting considering the Miami (FL) star has been deemed the potential second-coming of the former Ohio State standout, as noted by ESPN in their breakdown of which players could stand out at the 2021 NFL combine.
Then again, the next Chase Young could be: Miami’s Gregory Rousseau
What Young just did (21.5 TFLs, 16.5 sacks, three pass breakups and seven forced fumbles) sets an incredibly high bar for a redshirt sophomore, but look at what Rousseau accomplished during his first full season at Miami: 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss, team-high seven quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
His sacks total ties for second in team history, and his tackles for loss total marks the highest at Miami since 2006. A repeat performance or one with even better numbers will make a jump to the NFL a virtual certainty. Rousseau even has a similar frame to Young at 6-foot-7 and 253 pounds.
He will receive much more attention from opponents this fall, and could be a featured player at next year’s combine.