Draft Talk: Analysts share thoughts on Mike Rose


Collin Maguire/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State linebacker Mike Rose looks to the sideline for a play call against No. 10 Iowa on Sept. 11, 2021.

Matt Belinson

Editor’s note: The 2022 NFL Draft is on its way (April 28), and it’s shaping up to be an unprecedented stage for Cyclone football.

The Iowa State Daily spoke with five NFL Draft analysts to get their opinions on the Cyclones’ biggest draft prospects and examine their respective strengths, weaknesses and pro potential.

The analysts are Dane Brugler (The Athletic), Chris Trapasso (CBSSports), Anthony Treash (Pro Football Focus), Lance Zierlein (NFL.com) and Keith Sanchez (The Draft Network).

Mike Rose acted as a steady force for Iowa State’s defense over the last three seasons, winning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2020.

The Brecksville, Ohio, native finished his Cyclone career tied for the most starts in school history (49) and the second-most tackles for loss in school history (41).

But what does his NFL future look like?

For reference, the highest selection for an Iowa State linebacker came in 1974 when the Minnesota Vikings selected Matt Blair in the 2nd round, 51st overall.

What are his strengths?

Rose showed the ability to cover the field with speed and good ball skills, racking up 321 tackles, 9.5 sacks, six interceptions and a forced fumble in his career.

“There’s a lot to like about Mike,” Brugler said. “From a movement perspective, in a lot of ways he’s got the prototypical measurements.” 

Brugler commented that teams see him as a possible overhang linebacker, or maybe a fourth linebacker with a chance to potentially start.

Analysts see Rose as a versatile player who can find a role as a Sam or Mike linebacker at the NFL level.

Sanchez watched Rose’s film and saw him as an instinctive player with an ability to bring down free runners. 

“He can play inside linebacker and outside and nickel and slide in a zone defense,” Sanchez said.


Rose’s weaknesses come in relation to getting off blocks and moving in space for some evaluators.

“There are times when he struggles to get off blocks and could be stronger at the point of attack,” Brugler said.

However, Trapasso said he doesn’t see the overall strengths of Rose like other evaluators.

“I don’t get it with him,” Trapasso said. “I didn’t see it with him. He can hang his hat on 6-foot-4, 260, and there are flashes where he can be effective but I’m not high on him.”

Trapasso said the five interceptions Rose had in 2020 were a good sign but not a skill he displayed throughout his entire career.

Trapasso said Rose looks uncomfortable in coverage and finds his size to be too big for NFL defenses.

“I don’t want Mike Rose out in space and that’s where the game is being played,” Trapasso said. “By the way, it feels like the league is higher on him than I am.”

Where will he get picked?

Rose has his fans and skeptics amongst analysts, so where do analysts think he’ll be selected come draft weekend?

“He’s going to be a guy teams find value in towards the third down. He’ll be an early day three guy, third or fourth round class. I just think he’s in a class with really athletic linebackers. I’m just not sure he’s a tier one at his position.” –Sanchez

Brugler has Rose as a fifth-round pick in his latest mock draft.