We’re 2 months into the season now & have a good feeling what most of the Buffalo Bills rookies will turn into. The 2021 Bills class was the most hyped up class for Buffalo in years, and for good reason. Landing 2 pass rushers & the future at RT makes for an elite draft. Buffalo went into the draft with very few holes on their roster, so handling the draft the way they did was some of their best work.
1.) Gregory Rousseau
We’re 2 months into the season now & have a good feeling what most of the Buffalo Bills rookies will turn into. Greg Rousseau, the player everybody was expecting would need a little bit of time, has been the teams best pass rusher through 7 games, totaling 22 tackles, 3 sacks, 5 QB hits, and 1 INT. He has been the team’s starting pass rusher in all 7 games next to Jerry Hughes, which is impressive itself with the Bills depth at pass rusher.
In his game against Miami last week, he totaled 4 pressures and 2 QB hits on Tua Tagovailoa. Enough stats though, he has give the Bills an added spark on defense. Not only has his height affected QBs, but the way he has picked up the scheme so soon as well after sitting out the 2020 college season. Rousseau, who still has tons of room to develop, will have a bright future in this league.
2.) Spencer Brown
Brown, a 3rd round pick by the Bills, has given the Bills an added boost on the OL since he entered the starting lineup. After his 1st career start vs the Houston Texans, Mitch Morse had this to say about Brown “He rose to the occasion. Spencer is an incredibly talented football player. Like any guy on the offensive line, I think he would say he’s got some work to do. But for the most part, I think Spencer preformed admirably, was communicating very well, played beyond his years in that regard.” Brown has totaled 1 penalty and 0 sacks allowed in 227 snaps played, which is good enough for a 59.9 PFF grade.
3.) Carlos Basham
Basham, who has been a healthy scratch for most of his rookie season, has shown flashes of dominant football in the limited time he’s played, totaling 5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 2 QB Hits. With Mario Addison & Jerry Hughes becoming FAs after this year Basham should get an increased role after he grows a little bit more. The Bills are most likely using his rookie year as a redshirt season & see where he’s at down the road, much like they did with AJ Epenesa last year. Basham is versatile enough to go inside & play a little DT as well.
4.) Damar Hamlin
Hamlin has been more of a depth piece for Buffalo to start his career, with some garbage time activity so far, getting in just 26 snaps & totaling 0 stats. At the very least, the Bills found a quality depth piece that can play Special Teams.
5.) Marquez Stevenson
Stevenson quickly became a fan favorite during the preseason with fans clamoring for him to win the starting returner job. While an injury has derailed his rookie season, Stevenson can get in some game reps later on in the year.
6.) Tommy Doyle
Doyle has been exactly what you would hope for out of a late round pick, a developmental player who will need some time on the practice squad. Buffalo will need to keep him on the practice squad & see where he’s at next year.
7.) Rachad Wildgoose
Wildgoose, much like Stevenson, quickly became a fan favorite in Buffalo. But not because of his play, but for his last name. With Buffalo’s slim CB depth, Wildgoose has a shot to get some game action late in the year if we need him.
8.) Jack Anderson
Anderson was going to be a work in progress before he would compete for a starting job, I think Buffalo knew that. But with the Eagles picking him up off the Bills practice squad, we’ll sadly never get to see that happen.
Out of this draft, Buffalo came up with 2 starters, 1 rotational player, a returner, and some depth at key positions. Another pretty good draft by Brandon Beane & co.