Mike Rose NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Iowa State LB
HEIGHT: 6'3 7/8"
HAND: 10 1/8"
ARM: 33 1/4"
WINGSPAN: 6'6 3/4"
40-YARD DASH: DNP
— Great size. Tall build with plenty of weight.
— Functional short-area agility. Can work tight to the line of scrimmage through clutter.
— Good trigger against zone runs. Crashes his gap in a timely manner.
— Good zone coverage skills. Moments of impressive zone coverage down the field.
— Flashes of above-average block avoidance. Can get square and hop-step around blockers.
— Above-average ability to shed blocks after engagement. Covers a good amount of ground afterwards, too.
— Poor ability to take blocks head on. Does not strike with force or consistent hand placement.
— Inconsistent play strength. Too often gets bullied by blockers on first contact.
— Can have tackling issues because he plays so high.
— Man coverage is a concern.
— Eyes and trigger against most run concepts are below-average. Lead blockers, splitters, pullers and any kind of motion give him trouble.
11 G, 73 TOT, 12 TFL, 3 SK, 1 PD
— 2020 second-team All-American, 2020 Big 12 DPOY, 2020 and2021 first-team All-Big 12
— Four-year starter.
— 3-star recruit in 2018.
Mike Rose is a tougher projection than most four-year starters should be. In Iowa State's defense, Rose played almost exclusively to the field and was often asked to widen out to a slot alignment. His unique position in the Cyclones defense highlighted his strengths and masked his weaknesses very well.
On the positive side, Rose is a comfortable zone defender at all depths. He does well to track what throwing windows are behind him. He also proved comfortable being the deep "pole runner" in Cover 2 and showed the ability to change directions in open grass. In run defense, Rose was often allowed to fit from the outside, which gave him the chance to beat blocks with finesse rather than power. He has functional speed in and outside the box, but nothing more than that.
However, Rose's game becomes a roller coaster when playing from the box. When tasked with anything other than basic zone runs, his eyes go all over the place, and he often finds himself out of position. He also does not engage blocks or tackles with enough physicality, which is curious for a player his size. He too often absorbs the contact or tries to avoid it altogether. In fairness, he shows flashes of being able to disengage after some shaky initial contact, but he needs to be more consistent in that regard.
Rose's best fit will be at "Sam," where he can hopefully be protected by the strength of the defensive front and play to the passing strength. His projection is a bet on size and zone coverage skills. For now, though, Rose's run defense skills make him a clear backup and special teamer.
GRADE: 6.0 (High-Level Developmental Prospect - 5th Round)
OVERALL RANK: 230
POSITION RANK: LB23
PRO COMPARISON: Oren Burks