Aaron Rouse   S/LB   Virginia Tech

 

STRENGTHS 

Aaron is a great athlete that struggles playing football.   He has excellent size and speed and a very good burst to the ball.  He is a solid tackler and has developed change of direction skills.  Aaron has the size to play linebacker and the speed and burst to impact at that position.  He has a lot of the same athletic skills that Brian Urlacher had when he came out.    

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

With this much athletic talent, you have to question Aaronís work ethic and his on-the-field intelligence.  In my mind, there is no reason why Aaron is first, playing out of position and second, is not being considered as one of the best players in this draft.  He does not have Urlacherís pass defense abilities because he has poor change of direction skills, but if the play is in front of him, he is as good as Brian is at making the play.  Aaron plays way too high in general and loses leverage and strength when he is up at the line.    

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 4

Aaron really should be a smarter player and a better player than he is right now, but you never know with a little maturity and better coaching, he just might turn into an outstanding OLB.  The fact is the kid could be a pretty good MLB if he wants to be.  The question is, does he really want it?  If he does, then he needs about four years of really hard work and playing special teams to accomplish this.  My gut tells me that the kid hasnít been too serious about playing football; however, something tells me that once he sees how much money he lost in this draft (because he was screwing around for four years) it just might be the one thing that will motivate him into becoming the player his talent suggests that he can be.   A change of attitude, a good coach and this kid might be a hell of a LB at the next level.  It is up to him.

Drew Boylhart

February/2007