I hate this pick. I really hope he proves me wrong, but I don't see any reason to be excited about Virginia Tech S Aaron Rouse.
Watching the draft on ESPN, Mel Kiper only said that Rouse struggles in pass coverage. As if the Packers needed S Marquand Manuel's twin. Yahoo occasionally lists him as a safety while other times as a linebacker, while John Murphy describes him as "a combination safety/linebacker." NFL Draft Scout says he looks inconsistent. Maybe he is a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none.
It sounds like Rouse is a future linebacker, but he might be on the small side for a linebacker and there really isn't a need to add depth at the position. Maybe he will become valuable on special teams. Unfortunately GM Ted Thompson seemed determined to give him a chance at safety:
It would have been great to have seen someone like South Carolina CB Fred Bennett or Delaware TE Ben Patrick drafted with this pick. Both Bennett and Patrick are projects, but at least they have shown something on the college field that gives you hope that it will translate into the NFL.
Unfortunately Rouse sounds like he might become the next S Pat Watkins. Hopefully the Packers don't have any plans for him in 2007 and he can remain on the end of the depth chart for a couple of seasons before the Packers release him. Although it sounds ridiculously early to give up on someone, if it is obvious to everyone that has watched him that he can't cover receivers deep, then it will be next to impossible to give him too many chances as receivers keep running past him. Even your linebackers have to be good in coverage to prevent the tight ends from running deep down the middle. There doesn't seem to be a place for him in the NFL.