In an effort to learn more about our rookies, I reached out to a number of bloggers on the Bloguin network that cover the respective schools that groomed the players we drafted. The first person I was able to catch up with is Bryan from Pitt Script Blog about Saints’ rookie defensive end and 7th round pick Greg Romeus. If you haven’t been over to Bryan’s blog yet, GO CHECK IT OUT! He does an amazing job over there.
Here’s what he had to say about Greg Romeus:
If Greg Romeus performs at the level he seems capable of in the NFL, he’ll become the poster-child for student athletes who make the mistake of turning down the pros to try to boost their draft stock. After a 2009 season in which he was named Big East Defensive POY (which he shared with linemate Mick Williams), Romeus was slated to raise his stock to perhaps as high as the middle of the first round. Projected as a second round pick, he decided to return to a preseason top-20 team who were the widely picked to win the conference and go to a BCS Bowl.
Of course, that’s not how it worked out – for Greg or for Pitt. He sat out most of camp with “day-to-day back stiffness.” That stiffness turned into back surgery after the season opener. He was ready for an important late season game at UConn and upon his return immediately tore his ACL. Add in that his mother died in between injuries and 2010 was a very, very bad year for the Florida native.
When healthy Romeus is a prototypical 4-3 pass-rushing DE. Standing at 6’6″, 270 lbs, he had exceptional athleticism for the college level, but was still working on his technique. That’s understandable since his junior year of college was only his fifth year of playing football. He was also just adequate against the run. Schematically, Dave Wannstedt generated pressure almost exclusively through the front four, a system in which Romeus excelled. He led the team in 2009 with 8 sacks. He had 7 as a sophomore and 4 as a freshman. He accumulated many, many QB hurries over his three year career.
Here’s his official 2009 highlight video from Pitt:
Hope he pans out for you guys!
Thanks again to Bryan for taking the time, and he’s to Greg Romeus hopefully having a terrific career in black and gold.