Bills Legend Jim Kelly Welcomes Top Pick, Highlights Their Connection

Jim Kelly

Getty Jim Kelly appears at a Buffalo Bills game.

The Buffalo Bills newest player got a warm welcome from the franchise’s most famous player.

Not long after the Bills announced that they were taking Miami Hurricanes defensive end Gregory Rousseau with their No. 30 overall draft pick, legendary quarterback Jim Kelly reached out to welcome him to the franchise. Kelly also took the time to offer some praise for the 6-foot-6 pass rusher and highlight the connection the two share.

Kelly Excited For Rousseau To Join Bills

Kelly took to Instagram to welcome the team’s first-round draft pick, showing off Rousseau smiling as he posed with a Buffalo Bills jersey. He also gave a shout-out to the fellow Miami Hurricane, giving some props for the work ethic that players from his alma mater have shown.

“Love the genuine smile that Hurricane Rousseau has on his face,” Kelly wrote in the Instagram post’s caption. “He is going to be a difference maker on that already good defense. Hurricanes are workers. Welcome to Buffalo.”

Kelly has remained an active alum of the University of Miami, at times serving as an ambassador to the football program. After the death of former Hurricanes coach Howard Schnellenberger in late March, Kelly shared a picture on Instagram showing the two together during Kelly’s time as signal caller for the Hurricanes.

“Coach Schnellenberger always was like a father figure to me. Not only as my college coach but throughout my NFL career,” he wrote. “He was there for me no matter what. I will never forget that stern military voice. I WILL , see him again.”

Rousseau Comes With Light Resume

Aside from Kelly’s endorsement, Bills fans may not know much about the big defensive end. Rousseau was a breakout player in his redshirt freshman year at Miami, notching 15.5 sacks and 54 tackles in 13 games, but then opted to sit out the 2020 season to avoid exposure to COVID-19.

As Jake Marcus of SB Nation’s State of the U reported, Rousseau saw his draft stock sink over the course of the year, and failed to impress at Miami’s Pro Day. By the draft, he had fallen from a top 10 projection to the edge of the second round.

Last summer, Gregory ‘Greg’ Rousseau, was being projected as high as a top two overall draft pick and almost a lock top ten selection by most draft pundits. However, after Rousseau opted out of the 2020 on August 6th to focus on draft preparation, his stock slipped. And at Miami’s Pro Day last month, which was the first time Rousseau was made available to the public in a football environment in nearly a year and a half, the lengthy EDGE defender did not necessarily cement himself in the first round conversation, according to sources.

But many believe he would have been picked higher than the No. 30 selection, including Rousseau’s college coach. Manny Diaz appeared on the team’s talk show One Bills Live on Friday, saying the Bills got a steal who could have been taken in the top half of the first round.

“We love Greg Rousseau here,” Diaz said. “I’ll be honest, it’s a steal. Greg is a top-10, top-15 pick.”

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