After last season’s virtual draft, Cleveland is playing host to festivities this year with a handful of potential draft picks present and socially distanced because of COVID-19.
Here’s a pick-by-pick look at how each player Buffalo has selected will fit.
Round 1, No. 30 overall: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
My take: Selecting Rousseau made perfect sense considering how the board played out. Buffalo has an impending need at defensive end and wouldn’t be able to get one with Rousseau’s ceiling if it waited any longer. He is still learning the position but should be able to contribute as both a defensive end and interior pass-rusher. Next to 2019 first-round pick Ed Oliver, he could provide the type of pressure Buffalo often lacked last season.
Still developing: Bills general manager Brandon Beane lauded Rousseau’s production in 2019 (19.5 tackles for a loss, 15.5 sacks) — especially considering the former high school safety is “still growing into his body.” Beane noted Rousseau added 20 pounds since the last time he played in 2019. The Miami product opted out of the 2020 season, but said he “didn’t take any time off,” using the year away from the game to train and take care of his family. Beane said Rousseau isn’t being penciled in as a starter but expects him to “impact the rotation” as a rookie.
What it means: With Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison still on the roster, the Bills can be patient with Rousseau and allow him to develop at a position that is still relatively new to him. Beane said Rousseau and 2020 second-round pick AJ Epenesa project as the Bills’ starting defensive ends of the future, with 2019 seventh-round pick Darryl Johnson providing rotational depth.
What’s next: They should have plenty of options to choose from on Day 2. The Bills own the No. 61 and No. 93 picks and have an equally impending need at cornerback. Florida State’s Asante Samuel Jr. and Syracuse’s Ifeatu Melifonwu lead the way as second-round options, while Syracuse’s Trill Williams or Stanford’s Paulson Adebo are options in the third or fourth rounds. Don’t be surprised to see Buffalo address tight end, interior offensive line or interior defensive line, either.