The Buffalo Bills needed a defensive end, and they got one after turning down an offer to move down from the 30th pick in Thursday’s NFL draft.
In a first-round where most of the best players were on offense, the Bills chose Miami Hurricanes defensive end Gregory Rousseau, who has been called raw but talented.
The first thing you notice about him is how long he is. People have said that he has a “Gumby-like frame.” He is 6 feet tall, weighs 266 pounds, and has 11 1/8-inch hands. He is such a good athlete that in high school he played many different positions, including wide receiver.
His big smile was something else that stood out. Rousseau grew up in Coconut Creek, Florida, as the son of Haitian immigrants. He seems like he will be a bright spot in the Bills locker room and fit in well with all the interesting and charismatic people on the Bills roster.
Rousseau, who went to Champagnat Catholic High School in Hialeah, Florida, stands out in so many ways.
Because he didn’t play in 2020 because of COVID-19, it’s easy to forget what he’s already done in his young career (he’s only 21). He wanted to be with his mom, who used to work as an ICU nurse with COVID patients, and his dad, who works on fire trucks.
Over the course of 2020, Rousseau focused on putting on 20 pounds and watching tape. His own recording says a lot.
At the University of Miami in 2019, he had 15.5 sacks, which was the most in the ACC. He was named the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. “You don’t just get 15.5 sacks by chance,” said General Manager Brandon Beane.
Rousseau also made 54 tackles, 19.5 of which were for losses, and hurried the quarterback seven times. His number of sacks was second in the country, behind only Chase Young of Ohio State (16.5).
To put it another way, he’s a monster. Rousseau is still learning his trade, so it’s hard to say how he will change. He needs to get better at getting to the quarterback. And it’s hard to put a price on things you can’t see, but he has them.
In his first year of college football, he hurt his ankle after only 17 plays, so he had to take a “redshirt” year. Rousseau’s second season started after he had surgery. He was a bench player who was mostly used for passing on third down. Soon after that, he showed the coaches how good he was at the edge position.
The Bills’ pick at No. 30 didn’t come as a surprise because Buffalo needed to get better at defense.
Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison will be back for the new season, but they will be 33 and 34 years old, respectively. Both of them are in their contract years.
Last year’s AFC Championship Game between the Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs showed how weak the Bills’ pass rush was. Patrick Mahomes was only sacked once by the Bills, but he completed 76% of his passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns.
Beane said of Rousseau, “He’s a prototype size.” “You can’t teach things like size, length, and getting off the ground. He has everything.”
Beane said that Rousseau is a “smart player” with a lot of potentials who will fit in well in Buffalo.
READ MORE ARTICLES;