Todd McShay’s latest mock draft has Cardinals taking DE Gregory Rousseau
With the Super Bowl now in the rearview mirror, it’s full steam ahead to the offseason and the 2021 NFL Draft.
After submitting his first mock draft after the conclusion of the regular season, ESPN’s Todd McShay is back at it with a post-Super Bowl look.
He’s done some shuffling to say the least.
Taking a gander at the Arizona Cardinals at No. 16, the draft analyst changes course, with the team opting for defense over offense this time around in Miami defensive end Gregory Rousseau. McShay originally had Arizona going with Clemson running back Travis Etienne.
Finally, an edge rusher. The last time it took this long to see one drafted was 2004, when Will Smith went to the Saints at No. 18. But you won’t hear any complaints from the Cardinals, who can jump on an opportunity to slide in a difference-maker opposite Chandler Jones (who is a free agent after next season).
Rousseau enters the 2021 NFL Draft after opting out of last season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 6-foot-7, 265-pound edge rusher did play in 2019, however, recording 54 tackles, 19.5 of which were for losses, 15.5 sacks, a pass defensed and two forced fumbles. He paced the ACC in sacks and tackles for loss, while trailing only Chase Young (21) in sacks for the FBS lead.
The sample size remains relatively small compared to others in the draft, with just one season to go off of. In 2018, Rousseau’s freshman year was cut short after fracturing his ankle in the first game of the season.
The pick is all that more important if pass rusher Haason Reddick decides to take his talents elsewhere in free agency.
Recording career marks across the board, highlighted by a team-high 12.5 sacks last season, Reddick hits free agency with a lot of interest after the Cardinals declined the outside linebacker’s fifth-year option last offseason.
As for the rest of the NFC West, McShay has the San Francisco 49ers selecting TCU safety Trevon Moehrig at No. 20. San Francisco traded down in this mock draft with the Chicago Bears, who took Alabama quarterback Mac Jones at No. 12.
The Los Angles Rams and Seattle Seahawks currently do not have a pick in the first round due to trades.