UPDATE: The ABJ is reporting that Rouse is coming in on a TRYOUT basis and has not been signed yet, which conflicts with the earlier news:
Fresno State RB Robbie Rouse will try out with #Browns during their rookie minicamp. Has not signed as an undrafted FA.— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) May 9, 2013
According to reports on Twitter, the Cleveland Browns appear to have signed running back Robbie Rouse as an undrafted free agent. The first thing you'll notice about him is his height at 5'6". Last week, Rouse was invited for a tryout to the Minnesota Vikings rookie minicamp, but was not offered a contract. A member of our Vikings community left a detailed analysis of him, a blurb of which is below:
Rouse is more like a Darren Sproles (or Percy Harvin) stylistically. He’s one of the best receiving running backs in the entire class, although doesn’t have a lot else to go on. He’s criticized for being small, although a more accurate characterization is that he’s short. At 5’6", he’ll raise questions, but at 190 pounds, he can pack a punch. Remember, Percy Harvin is four inches taller and was (allegedly) 185 pounds.
The guys are DraftBrowns.com are ecstatic with the signing:
#Browns just got a STEAL in UDFA RB from Fresno State, Robbie Rouse!— Ryan (@RyInCBus) May 9, 2013
Robbie Rouse is a nice UDFA pickup for the #Browns. He’ll have to earn his spot of course. RB depth chart isn’t going to be easy to crack.— Brendan Leister (@BrendanLeister) May 9, 2013
Rouse, who attended Fresno State in college, was getting ready to receive another rookie minicamp tryout with the Dallas Cowboys before the Browns snatched him up. Here is a summary of the stats he put up in college. Dane Bruglar of CBSSports had him as the 19th ranked back in the draft, and projected to be a 6th-round pick. Here was his pre-draft assessment of Rouse:
STRENGTHS: Runs determined, motivated and low to the ground…very good plant-and-go quickness to put his foot in the ground and burst in any direction…smooth hips and good foot quickness…follows his blocks well and uses his size to his advantage…presses the hole and plays bigger than he appears, setting up his moves…will slither out of tackles…finishes runs and doesn’t quit...three straight seasons over 1,100 rushing yards and leaves school with 110 career catches and 43 combined TDs.
WEAKNESSES: Diminutive stature and lacks ideal power or frame for the position…appears maxed out physically and won’t be able to add much more bulk…lacks great body strength and can be pulled down or slowed by simple arm tackles…quicker than fast and lacks ideal speed or a second gear to escape down the field, too easily caught from behind…too patient at times between the tackles and needs to consistently take what’s there…liability in pass pro…what’s his role in the NFL?
SUMMARY: Leader and face of Fresno State program, the last player allowed to wear #8 jersey (David Carr’s old number and will be retired)…fluid in/out of his cuts and makes it tough for tacklers to square him up, hiding behind blockers…pocket-sized, but has a solid build and has proven to be durable, can take hits and run with a workhorse mentality…reliable receiver out of the backfield with some experience as a returner…quicker than fast who has better NFL potential than most think.