BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Days after signing free agent running back TJ Yeldon, the Bills have added another body in the backfield.
On Friday evening, the Bills selected running back Devin Singletary with the 74th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Last season, Singletary rushed for 1,348 yards on 261 carries and scored 22 touchdowns for the Florida Atlantic Owls. He also added six receptions for 36 yards.
The Bills currently have six more picks in this year's 2019 NFL Draft which resumes on Saturday. Round four begins at 12 p.m.
Joe B's Take
- With LeSean McCoy already on the roster, and with the Bills adding two running backs in Frank Gore and TJ Yeldon through free agency, the Bills decided to add their stable of running backs with Devin Singletary. This is the first time the Bills have drafted a running back since 2016, and the first time they've chosen one in the third round or earlier since 2010.
We'll get to what it means for the running back room in a bit, but first more about the type of player the Bills are getting in Singletary. The running back tested poorly at the NFL Combine by posting a 40-yard dash time of 4.66, and also was measured at only 5-foot-7. However, what Singletary lacked in Combine prowess, he made up for with game speed when you watch his games.
What stands out the most with Singletary is his movement ability and vision. He is not afraid to stop on a dime to make a defender look foolish, only to change directions and gain additional yardage. He also has good contact balance which helps him to keep churning out yards after meeting the first would-be tackler, and he also shows solid enough vision to read the play.
Singletary's offensive line in front of him at Florida Atlantic was not impressive, so there were many times that he had to do quite a bit without anything given to him. The runner looks to be at his best when he finds some open space and makes people miss.
As for where he fits in, I don't think this necessarily spells the end for McCoy with the Bills. Both he and Gore are in the final year of their respective contracts, which means there will be a natural turnover at running back into 2020. With the addition of Singletary, they have a piece to develop and learn from the two veteran running backs and someone that could play into the backfield equation once McCoy and Gore move on.
Keep in mind, while with the New England Patriots, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was with a team that put together a stable of running backs every single year, so it is not at all out of the question for the Bills to keep McCoy, Gore, Singletary, and Yeldon on the 53-man roster. If anything, if his play doesn't warrant a roster spot, the Bills can release Yeldon after the preseason without much of a penalty against the cap.
Despite being a two-year contract on paper, the deal is actually a souped up one-year deal that the Bills can get out from while saving $800,000 on this year's cap. It would only be a dead cap hit of $500,000. If they prefer the special teams ability of, say, Sinorise Perry to Yeldon, they can cut bait with the latter.
So, while drafting a runner at first glance doesn't sound promising for McCoy, it actually works a lot better than you might think. The Bills have been steadfast in their commitment to McCoy in 2019 throughout the entirety of the offseason.
Past that, though, there wasn't a plan at running back. And with Singletary now in the fold, they have something on the books for the 2020 season with some potential, that doesn't have to be thrown into the lineup immediately. If he shows the ability to start, the job could be his. If he looks more like a complementary piece, they'll continue to add to the position in the 2020 offseason.