The Buffalo Bills saw fit to inject some youth into their running-back stable during day two of the 2019 NFL Draft, selecting Florida Atlantic tailback Devin Singletary with the 74th overall pick in the third round. Let’s take a look at the background of the runner they call “Motor.”
Singletary was a two-time all-state selection in high school who decided to stay home and play for Florida Atlantic. He turned in a solid season during his freshman campaign with the Owls, rushing for 1021 yards at 6.7 yards a clip. That effort earned him Conference USA All-Freshman honors. With former USC coach Lane Kiffin becoming the head coach at FAU, Singletary took his game to a whole new level in 2017. Motor ran for 1918 yards and 32 touchdowns that season, leading the nation in rushing touchdowns and becoming the first player in FAU history to earn All-American honors. While Singletary did not have quite the same success in 2018, he still finished with 1348 yards and 22 touchdowns, earning a first team All-Conference USA selection.
Singletary’s game tape shows a player with shiftiness and short-area quickness to excel at the combine events tailored for those skills, such as the 3-cone drill and the short shuttles. To viewers’ surprise, Devin’s combine was largely a disappointment. His numbers in Indianapolis for the 40-yard dash, 3-cone and short shuttle were very below average and his spider chart comparison is 2018 undrafted free agent Akrum Wadley, along with Dion Lewis. He also didn’t help himself during his pro day at FAU, where he pulled a hamstring running the 40.
There were varying opinions of Singletary’s draft stock coming into Friday night of the draft. Some analysts knocked him for his excessive workload at FAU and questioned his limited athleticism. Others favored the game tape and saw a player with the vision, agility and toughness to hold up as a three-down back in the NFL. As such, his draft stock was all over the place, but firmly between the third and fifth rounds.