Pick 30 (Round 1): Gregory Rousseau, DE – The U
Coming in with the 30th overall selection, I have the Bills going with Edge Rusher, Gregory Rousseau, out of the University of Miami. Rousseau had a very dominant 2019 season at the U and was once projected to be a top-10 selection. Like Penn State linebacker, Micah Parsons, however, he opted out of the 2020 season, which may have hurt his draft stock. Nonetheless, the Bills may benefit by obtaining a very valuable player late in the draft.
Rousseau is very tall and lengthy, with The Draft Network scout describing him as having “vines for arms.” During his redshirt-sophomore season, Rousseau tallied 15.5 sacks, second behind former #2 overall pick Chase Young. He demonstrates excellent play recognition and possesses a great motor. The third-year end (redshirt sophomore) is also very versatile: one play he’ll be a stand-up end, the next he’ll be lined up right over the nose. And he’ll excel on both.
On the negative side of the ledger, Rousseau occasionally doesn’t use his remarkable limb length to his advantage. He has trouble extending his arms and is often caught bunched up. His arsenal of hand movements is also limited, and he has trouble being a technical lineman. His first step is not as explosive as it could be. For someone with his size, he should come off the ball with more force and more hand strength.
Although not due to injury, he missed a year of playing time, which may have affected his game. He would have benefited from bulking up and increasing his overall mass during the downtime, which would help with his off-the-snap explosiveness
Overall, I think Rousseau would be a great fit for the Bills, who struggled in the edge pressure area last season. With Trent Murphy almost definitely gone and both Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison playing against time, edge defender is a bigger need than others may think. He also has two teammates in Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche that could also be solid options in the second round, or maybe even in the first.