Has a decent first step. Has a decent swim and rip move to get around the corner. Also flashes potential as a bull rusher, able to get his hands inside from time to time. Can take on the tight end and shed him at the point of attack. Does a decent job getting leverage vs. the run. Has a decent motor and gives chase downfield to make plays in pursuit.
Doesn't play with great burst, explosiveness, or physicality. May lack killer instinct and motor has been questionable at times. Has trouble disengaging from blocker around the corner because he lacks the flexibility and burst to turn the corner. Inconsistent with his recognition as he can get caught out of position on the outside run. Doesn't break down well when he gets penetration in the backfield and will whiff on stops and sacks because of it. At times, too effectively chipped by the back and spends too much time on the ground. Can get pushed off the ball at the point of attack. Not natural when working in coverage.
Romeus entered this year as one of the top-rated defensive ends, but back spasms limited him throughout the summer. After apearing in the season opener, he missed the next 7 games due to him having surgery to repair a disc in his lower back. Then he returned for the UConn game in November ahead of schedule and suffered a torn ACL in that game which should put him out at least through the early part of the 2011 season. He was a three-year starter going into this past year, combining for 135 tackles, 38.5 tackles for loss, and 19.5 sacks in those years. He also blocked 4 extra points during his career, forced 4 fumbles, recovered 3 more, and broke up 11 passes with an interception. Prior to the injury-filled senior year, Romeus was a work in progress. He got off to a slow start as a junior, but improved as the season wore on. But where he is at in his development was hurt by the lack of a senior year, where he had just 7 tackles in 2 games.
Romeus doesn't have the speed or burst to play right end in the pros like he did at Pitt. He's a better fit on the left side where his combo of size and strength will make him a harder matchup for right tackles instead of left tackles that won't have any issue with his speed. You like the fact that he got better as his junior year wore on, but he still didn't consistently dominate against lesser tackles at the collegiate level like you'd want to see in a potential first round pick like he was billed for most of that year. If he can bulk up, Romeus has the potential to play end in a 3-4 scheme, but he probably needs to be in the 280-290 pound range to hold up there. If he can improve his bull rush and hand technique in particularly, he could potentially develop in a 6-8 sack guy as a left end in a 4-3 scheme. I don't think he has what it takes to be a consistent or reliable threat off the edge, so he's more likely to be a 3-5 sack guy instead. He can definitely help out a rotation, but it remains to be seen if he has the fire, killer instinct, or will develop the technique to be a reliable starter. His potential to be a solid run defender helps him in that regard. If he plays left end opposite a good speed rusher on the right side, then he can be a good complementary starter in the same mold that Adewale Ogunleye was in Miami opposite Jason Taylor or Charles Grant was in New Orleans opposite Will Smith. Eventually, he probably develops into a player like a Jarvis Green or Dewayne White, who is good enough to be a starter but never really lives up to his potential as a starter, so that teams are constantly looking for more help at the position rather than being truly satisfied with his production.
Romeus has a chance to produce as a left end for the Falcons as a starter down the road. Because he offers similar upside as a run defender, but probably greater upside as a pass rusher, he could supplant either Anderson or Davis in the rotation in his first or second year. He's probably not going to contribute a ton as a rookie due to the injury. But probably wouldn't be more than a No. 4 guy even if he was 100% going into the year. Instead his value is 2-3 years down the raod, contributing in the Falcons rotation and the potential to be a decent to good every down defensive end. But he's a complementary guy that can improve the team's rotation, but isn't going to be a huge upgrade in his first two or three years because he's still fairly raw.
Romeus never ever really looked like a first round pick. On his best days, he's more in line with late second or third round talent. And because of the injury, his value at this point is probably more in line with fourth or fifth round talent.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Pass Rush: 3.0
Point Of Attack: 3.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.