Selected 30th overall, Rousseau will receive $11.367MM guaranteed. The Miami alum will be expected to help a Bills team that featured no pass rusher surpass five sacks in 2020. The Rousseau pick preceded Buffalo selecting Wake Forest’s Boogie Basham in Round 2. Basham signed his rookie deal last month. Rousseau’s rookie deal, unlike Basham’s, can run through 2025 (via the fifth-year option).
Both Rousseau and Hurricanes rusher Jaelan Phillips went off the board, to AFC East teams, in Round 1. The Dolphins took Phillips ahead of the Bills’ selection. Rousseau had Phillips one-upped after his most recent college season, 2019, when he posted 15.5 sacks and forced two fumbles. But Rousseau opted out of his junior season and did not generate momentum during the pre-draft process.
Buffalo will bet on his breakout sophomore season being a better indicator of his potential. Rousseau did not record a sack as a freshman in 2018, playing in only one game, and ranked 48th among this year’s prospects, per Scouts Inc. The 6-foot-6 edge defender played in just 14 games at Miami. This certainly increases the risk of the Bills’ pick.
The defending AFC East champions, however, now have a wealth of notable defensive ends on their roster. Rousseau and Basham join 2020 second-round pick A.J. Epenesa and returning starters Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison.
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