The Buffalo Bills offense wasn’t very good this year and with a new offensive coordinator coming into the fold, the team could decide to completely blow up the roster at key positions and start from scratch; new quarterback, new running back, new wide receivers, new offensive linemen. If - and it’s a huge if - Buffalo decides to move on from LeSean McCoy, there are a few draft options to replace him.
(More than likely, we’ll be looking at Tier 2 or Tier 3 guys as number 2 running backs to give McCoy a breather and step in should he have an injury. The 30-year-old back won’t be able to carry the load forever.)
Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Barkley appears to be a top-10 lock. He is already being compared to the best running back prospects of the last five years. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry for 1,271 yards with 18 touchdowns. He had 54 receptions for 632 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver. He’s quick, he’s fast, has great balance, good power, and good vision. Kid’s a stud, but Buffalo would have to move up into the stratosphere for him.
Nick Chubb, Georgia
Derrius Guice, LSU
Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
Ronald Jones II, USC
Sony Michel, Georgia
Guice is the only other running back going in the first round of some mock drafts, but he’s in the second half, right around where Buffalo is picking. Michel and Chubb split carries at Georgia, which is why neither has really shown what they can do. Michel averaged almost 8 yards per carry and Chubb is more of a thumper. Jones put on weight last offseason and was rewarded with 19 touchdowns and 1550 yards rushing with quickness and his size. Johnson flashed on the big stage against Alabama and Georgia, boosting his draft stock to Day 2.
Royce Freeman, Oregon
Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Akrum Wadley, Iowa
Even though there is a huge group of Day 2 picks in Tier 2, all of these guys in Tier 3 could go in the 3rd or 4th round, too. At 5’11”, 230 Freeman is a stout power back as is Penny, who stands 5’11”, 220. Both would be change of pace backs for McCoy, not replacements. If Buffalo is looking for a kick returner to replace Brandon Tate and a running back, they could do worse than Wadley.
- Video analysis: Shady was awesome in 2017
- Bills wouldn’t save enough cap space to justify McCoy’s release
- There are no current Bills ready to replace LeSean McCoy
- Free agent options at running back aren’t as good as Shady
- Bills would have to trade up to get an NFL Draft RB as good as McCoy
- Shady is good; add a change of pace back