Mike Rose has been an impact player since he stepped on campus as a Freshman and has only gotten better each year. Let’s take a look at why he’s a player Devy and Dynasty IDP managers need to know.
After an outstanding Junior season, Iowa State linebacker Mike Rose chose to return to school for his Senior year. Iowa State had some other big names decide to return (Brock Purdy, Charlie Kolar) so it appears they are gearing up for a big 2021 run. Rose has been fantastic in his first three seasons as a Cyclone and I expect a big Senior year from the talented linebacker. If you play Devy IDP, he’s a player I’m looking to acquire. If you don’t play Devy IDP, Rose is a name to put on your watch list for next year’s class of defenders. Now, let’s dive into Rose’s stellar career as well as some strengths and weaknesses in his game.
High School Career
Coming from Broadview Heights, Ohio, Rose played his High School football at Brecksville-Broadview Heights. During his time there, he excelled at both football and basketball as he was an all-conference player in both sports. Rose had a solid year as a Junior as he amassed 82 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and two interceptions. His strong play continued as a Senior as he compiled 53 tackles and 10 tackles for loss in just seven games. This led to Rose earning First-Team All-Conference and All-District honors as a Senior. Due to his strong play, Rose was rated a three-star recruit and a Top-40 overall player in Ohio by 247Sports. After receiving six official scholarship offers, Rose chose to take his talents to Iowa State and become a Cyclone.
Mike Rose made an impact right away as a True Freshman. Starting and playing in all 13 games for the Cyclones, Rose tallied 75 tackles (41 solos), nine tackles for loss, one and half sacks, and two passes defended. He also recovered a fumble for a touchdown against Kansas State, which was crucial in helping them come back to win the game. His impressive play earned him First Team Freshman All-American honors by The Athletic and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). Rose also earned Honorable Mention All-Big 12 honors as well.
In his second season, Rose was once again a big part of the Iowa State defense. Just like his Freshman year, he started and played in all 13 games for the Cyclones. In those 13 games, Rose produced 77 tackles (39 solos), 9.5 tackles for loss, two and a half sacks, and one interception. Although they lost their bowl game against Notre Dame that year, Rose had a fine outing leading the team with eight tackles while also notching a sack in the contest. Rose once again earned Honorable Mention All-Big 12 honors as well as First Team Academic All-Big 12 honors.
This season, as a Junior, Rose really stepped up his game. In 12 games, Rose amassed an impressive 96 tackles (54 solos), 10.5 tackles for loss, one and a half sacks, and five interceptions. His tackle total (96) and interception total (5) both led the Big 12. In fact, his five interceptions were the most in the nation this season by a linebacker. Rose set a new game career-high in tackles this season as well with 13 against Texas in Week 9. He also came up clutch in the Cyclones’ bowl game victory over Oregon as Rose finished the game with six tackles and an interception.
After an outstanding Junior campaign the awards poured in for Rose. He was named a First Team All-American by The Athletic, Second Team All-American by both the Associated Press and Sporting News and earned a spot on the All-Big 12 First Team. Rose was also named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the year and is only the second player in Iowa State history to earn this prestigious award.
Listed at 6’4’’ and 245 pounds, Mike Rose has good size for the linebacker position. Rose likes to play a physical style of football and his frame provides him with a base to do so. Not only does Rose bring good physicality to the position, but he plays the game with a high motor and effort. He’s a proficient tackler who gets downhill with authority.
As you can see in the image below, Rose graded out as one of the top run-defenders in the nation per PFF. He’s a sure tackler who makes his presence felt getting downhill stopping the run.
Highest-graded run-defenders in College Football
1. Myles Murphy, Clemson – 92.2
2. Alim McNeill, NC State – 92.1
3. Mike Rose, Iowa St – 91.1
4. Jon Rhattigan, Army – 90.9
5. Nick Anderson, Tulane – 90.7 pic.twitter.com/YkQlp6HuLa
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) December 12, 2020
One of my favorite parts of Rose’s game are the instincts and awareness he displays on the field. Against the run, Rose believes in what he sees and reacts/attacks accordingly. Rose’s awareness also shows up in coverage as he has a really good feel when dropping in zone coverages. His length, fluidness, and awareness aid him in being effective getting in passing lanes. Not to mention he has a knack of being around the ball as he had five interceptions this year.
On this play you can see Rose’s ability to drop in coverage and use his instincts and awareness to put himself in position to pick off the pass. Rose is a playmaker and shows that off here as his fourth quarter interception seals the game.
MIKE ROSE CALLS GAME! CYCLONE VICTORY BABY! 🌪🚨 pic.twitter.com/JHlTORQ1lt
— OutCYde the Lines (@OutCYdetheLines) November 8, 2020
While Rose isn’t a size/speed freak (he’s plenty athletic), he does have some nice versatility to his game. He has played both middle and outside linebacker (SAM) for Iowa State and was effective at both spots. Rose also can impact the game as a blitzer. He creates disruption as a blitzer from both the interior and outside when asked. Rose has already made quite a few impact plays behind the line of scrimmage during his career as his 29 tackles for loss and five and a half sacks show.
Areas to Improve
As I said earlier, Rose is an aggressive, instinctual player. While this works well to his advantage, it can lead to him getting tricked by misdirection from time to time as he’s always ready to pounce. Rose can also get a little over zealous and his aggressiveness can cause him to over-pursue and end up out of position on occasion. However, more often than not he puts himself in the right position to make the play.
Mike Rose has built an impressive resume in his three years at Iowa State and I expect him to add to it in his final year. A big Senior season will not only help his draft stock, but will also greatly benefit managers’ Devy IDP squads. Rose is such a fun player to watch as he plays the game with great passion and intensity. I’m looking forward to watching the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year get back to work and you should be too!