NAME: Mike Rose
SCHOOL: Iowa State
HEIGHT: 6’3 5/8″
WEIGHT: 250 lbs
HOMETOWN: Brecksville, Ohio
HIGH SCHOOL: Brecksville-Broadview Heights
Mike Rose was a 3-star recruit coming out of Brecksville-Broadview Heights in Brecksville, Ohio. In 2017, Rose originally committed to Ball State University but then de-committed later in the year. He would then commit to Iowa State where he would enroll in 2018. Mike Rose leaves Iowa State with a ton of accolades, including First Team All-Big 12 and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in a breakout 2020.
GAMES WATCHED: 2020 – Kansas State; 2021 – Oklahoma, Northern Iowa, Texas
Range – 50 (Average): Overall not the rangiest linebacker in this draft by any stretch of the imagination but for the most part, he is able to get the job done. While he doesn’t have the sort of range Luke Kuechly did, he does have enough burst to handle one half of the field. Rose’s change of direction is not great; he is very sluggish at times which affects his ability to have an impact on plays he should.
IQ – 65 (Star): Nothing outstanding but nothing bad either. He needs to do a better job of having awareness of where the ball is. Rose does a good job of reading and diagnosing plays very quickly. Doing this allows him to put himself in the best position possible to make a play. He is a disciplined linebacker who realizes that the position is not all about physicality.
Run Defense – 60 (Above Average): Rose is a Dyson vacuum at the second level. He eats up tackles without any issues and is an annoyance to go up against. Rose does an excellent job of plugging gaps and forcing ball carriers to redirect. His plus awareness in every situation makes him a force to be reckoned with.
Tackling – 60 (Above Average): Rose doesn’t miss too many tackles. He takes good angles which puts him in the best position to finish tackles. His moments of inconsistency come with overextending himself and reaching too far out. This causes him to lose balance; resulting in him falling, missing tackles, or being unable to change direction effectively. He isn’t the largest linebacker but he is able to go one on one with other running backs. Rose is a great finisher, often helping his teammates out and getting the ball carrier to the ground.
Pass Coverage – 55 (Above Average): Rose has shown steady improvement each year with his pass defense prowess. On a lot of their fronts, Iowa State has him line up to cover the flats to cover outside runs, screens, and short passes on the outside. In 2020, Rose had five interceptions and two pass breakups but he hasn’t performed anywhere near that level in 2021. This season he has had zero interceptions and one pass deflection. Pass coverage is something that he could really work on and get better at in order to be more consistent. Especially when it comes to dropping back into coverage in Cover 2/Tampa 2 sets.
Motor – 60 (Above Average): While Rose isn’t the rangiest linebacker in the draft, he has a high motor. He definitely gives his all to chase down players. He does not stop until the whistle blows.
Block Shed – 45 (Fringe Average): In this aspect of his game, it is hit or miss. Rose flashes twitch and separation from pass blockers at times, but he can also really struggle to break free from blockers’ grasps. He tends to struggle more block shedding in pass-rushing scenarios and not as much in run defense. In run defense, he does a pretty good job of stacking his blocks and peeling off of them to affect the play. His inability to get off blockers while pass rushing is why I gave him a lower grade.
Pass Rush – 30 (Poor): This part of his game is not even remotely impressive, to be honest. Whether he is rushing off the edge or running up the middle, he rarely even gets pressure on the quarterback. He struggles to create separation and gets instantly shut down. This is a part of his game that he could stand to get better at. He’s great at run defense, average at pass defense, and poor at pass rushing. It wouldn’t hurt to work on this aspect and keep some special moves in his back pocket.
Versatility – 45 (Fringe Average): He’s not asked to do a lot of different things. He lines up about 50/50 in either a MIKE position or lined up with the secondary to cover the flats. Rose isn’t asked to blitz a lot and he’s not a jack of all trades type of linebacker. His bread and butter is defending the run and occasionally he’s a threat for the occasional interception or deflection. Nothing to really write home about here.
Frame – 55 (Above Average): Rose is not a bulky and clumsy linebacker. His height and weight look good on him. He has an athletic build that should help him succeed in the NFL. It’s nothing freakish or out of this world but it works for him.
Final Grade: 6.27
Round Grade: 4th
Summary: Mike Rose is by no means the perfect linebacker but there is a lot about him NFL teams will like. He’s a solid run defender, which will add value to his draft stock. He does need to improve on his pass-rushing ability so he can have something useful to add to that aspect of the game. Also, he should definitely continue to improve on his ability in pass coverage. While he isn’t the best linebacker in the class, I like him. His instincts and knowledge of the game I feel will help him make the jump from college to the NFL and can help make up for where he lacks. I feel a 4th round projection is a fair grade for him and his abilities. Not a day one starter for a defense, but he is a guy you can bring in every so often to get him some reps, maybe start out on special teams and he will still contribute to your team. He could really be a steal in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Follow Austin on Twitter @ArmchairAustin.