Did the Buffalo Bills address all of their needs ahead of another AFC Championship push this season?
Four offensive players. Four defensive players. And a whole lot of high expectations.
That’s what Brandon Beane delivered to Bills Mafia over the course of the 2021 NFL Draft. Beane invested heavily in the pass rush, while restocking the secondary and beefing up the offensive line. Heavy on trench players and light on skill guys, Beane’s draft might lack on flash. However, his picks make up for it with their filling of pre-draft needs. Let’s grade it out.
Round One – Pick 30 – Gregory Rousseau – DE – Miami (Fla.)
If you need a reminder as to how important pass rush is in today’s NFL, look no further than Super Bowl LV.
Tampa Bay’s fearsome defensive line of Shaq Barrett, Ndamukong Suh and Jason Pierre-Paul wreaked havoc on Patrick Mahomes, forcing him to run for 497 yards behind the line of scrimmage in an effort to escape their grasp. Contrast that against the 2020 AFC Championship game, and Bills’ pass rush was much less effective.
If Buffalo is building a Mahomes-beater, they started off with the right guy. Ranked as the number one defensive end in the draft by Athlon Sports, Rousseau goes six-foot-seven, 266 pounds. Simply put, he looks every part an NFLer. While he does only have 15 college games to his name (Rousseau opted out of the 2020 season), the former Miami Hurricane posted 15.5 sacks last time he was on a football field in 2019.
This pick addresses a glaring need with a prospect that fell into their lap. Although Rousseau only provided scouts with a small sample size, he has All-Pro written all over him.