On the first night of the NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills stayed pat at pick 30 and selected defensive end, Gregory Rousseau. There have been mixed reactions from some Bills fans on the pick, but most fans believe in what Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott are doing.
Measurables For Rousseau:
- School: Miami
- Position: Defensive end
- Height: 6’7”
- Weight: 266 pounds
- Arm Length: 34 3/8”
- Very good read-and-react skills
- Good vision
- Adjusts well to moving quarterbacks
- Quick first-step
- Speed to get around the corner
- Has a burst to close on the quarterback
- Functional strength, length
- Ability to use hands and feet at the same time
- Active hands
- Able to shed blocks
- Has the makings of pass-rushing moves
- Can bull rush
- Effective rip move
- Can rush from the inside
- Agile; not stiff
- Solid run defender
- Upside to get better
- Versatile for 3-4 or 4-3 defense
- One-year wonder
- Raw; needs development
- Already had a serious ankle injury
- Lost experience and developmental time sitting out 2020
- Should add to and refine pass-rushing moves
- Gets in trouble when he stands up too high
From a physical talent standpoint, Rousseau has a very good skill set. He has a quick first step and a burst to close on the quarterback. While Rousseau is not a blazing fast edge rusher like a Von Miller, he is quick, and when he works himself free he finishes the rush in a hurry. Rousseau also has good size with some functional strength and length, which makes it difficult for offensive linemen to sustain blocks.
He showed a superb ability to use his hands and feet at the same time while also keeping his eyes on the quarterback. Rousseau showed an effective bull rush, rip move, and speed to run past blockers. Even though he is a tall defender, Rousseau is not stiff and has the agility to sink his hips to redirect.
The combination of size, agility, and functional strength allows Rousseau to be a versatile defender. Miami lined him up on the edge and inside at tackle in the subpackage. He was very dangerous in the pass rush against guards, he could provide that added dimension.
In run defense, Rousseau is solid and is at his best when he works upfield to disrupt the backfield. Rousseau has the size and strength to hold his gap to stop the run. For the NFL, it would help him to get stronger, and that would improve his ability to defend downhill runs coming straight at him. Rousseau is young, so he has the time and frame to add strength.
It will be important for the Bills to understand the need for patience with his development. Rousseau suffered a season-ending fractured ankle in 2018 after just two games and opted out of 2020, leaving 2019 as the only year of film to evaluate and his rawness was evident. With patience and development, Rousseau has the upside to become an impact defender that can play all across the defensive line on multiple fronts.
The good news is that the Bills have a solid rotation of defensive ends to help him develop. Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison understand that it takes time to develop into a consistent pass rusher from their own experience.
Keep in mind Bills Mafia there was a lot of kickback when they drafted Josh Allen over Josh Rosen. Let’s allow the Bills to prove some of the fans wrong again.