BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills have agreed to sign first-round draft pick Greg Rousseau to a four-year contract on Thursday.
Buffalo selected the edge rusher with the 30th pick overall in April as part of a bid to upgrade its pass rush. The 21-year-old is considered a developmental project after opting out from playing last season at the University of Miami due to COVID-19 concerns.
Rousseau played one full season at Miami. In 2019, led the ACC with 15 1/2 sacks to earn conference rookie of the year honors.
General manager Brandon Beane cited Rousseau’s production and 6-foot-6, 266-pound frame as reasons to believe the player can make an impact at the NFL level.
“He still has some rawness to his game. But we like who he is, and we think he’s a guy who, in time, will reach his potential,” Beane said. “For a one-year player, he’s got a knack for getting to the quarterback.”
Buffalo also took a defensive end in the second-round, selecting Carlos Basham of Wake Forest.
The Bills finished 15th in the NFL with 38 sacks last season, and tied for 20th with 143 quarterback pressures. The team also needs to get younger at the position. It's top edge-rushers, Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison, both are going to be 33 or older and entering the final season of their contracts.
Rousseau and Basham showed the ability in college to play both inside and outside positions along the defensive front.
The deal comes as the Bills complete their second week of voluntary practices.
Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said Rousseau has made a good first impression despite having missed a year.
“You like the length but you also like the coachability,” Frazier said Wednesday. “Once you show him or tell him what you’re looking for, he’s able to go out and execute that. I think he has the ability to be a really good edge rusher, more so because of his length and feel for the game.”
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