BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — For the last three NFL Drafts, Brandon Beane and the Buffalo Bills have used the first selection they've made, whether it was on day one or day two, on a defensive lineman. This year's selection, Miami product Greg Rousseau, will be joining a deep defensive line group.
"He'll have to earn everything he gets. You know how we rotate guys, so this year, who knows?" Bills GM Brandon Beane said. "We see him affecting that rotation on the edge, but like I said, in nickel rush situations, reducing down inside."
Rousseau's 15.5 sacks in 2019 came from all over the defensive line. He came off the edge and also on the inside; that versatility is a part of what led the Bills to select him.
"The thing about Greg is that a lot of his sack production came from the inside. They played him all over," Beane said. "He ran a 4.68 [40 yard dash] at I believe 266 [pounds]... he uses his length and get-off to affect the passer."
"Wherever the coach needs me, I'm going to do what I have to do," Rousseau said. "Whatever coach needs, I'll do it."
It's no secret that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have used character outside the lines as a portion of their building blocks. Rousseau seems to fit that mold, not only with his attitude when it comes to where he plays on the field, but also outside the lines and at home.
His opt-out year wasn't meant to solely focus on working out for the draft; Rousseau's mother was a nurse on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was also looking out for his family. Before he even got to Miami as a freshman, he graduated early from high school knowing full well he'd be moving from wide receiver to defensive end for the Hurricanes.
"It's really just about being where your feet are, you know? Working hard, and not getting discouraged when people say stuff about you," Rousseau said. "And that's what I'm going to keep doing for the rest of my life as long as I can."
As Beane, McDermott, and the Bills did their homework throughout the pre-draft process, that adversity and mindset weren't lost on Buffalo's front office. It shone through in multiple zooms with the former Hurricane.
"He's a grade A young man. He's very mature for his age," Beane said. "He has the intangibles that we look for, a guy that's going to work; very competitive, and wasn't looking for a year off."
Rousseau said he models his game after Baltimore's Calais Campbell and Cleveland's Myles Garrett. If he's a fraction of either player, Buffalo will have struck gold.
"I know what I bring to the table. I know I'm somebody that's going to come to the table and work hard to maximize my potential," Rousseau said. "I'm very thankful and appreciative that the Bills believed in me enough to pick me at 30, and I'm ready to prove that they made the right decision."