It’s likely that general manager Brandon Beane and the rest of the Buffalo Bills’ front office probably assumed they solved the running back position for years to come after drafting Devin Singletary in 2019 and Zack Moss in 2020. However, the 2021 season provided Moss with a sophomore slump and handed Singletary some early season struggles. It took some shuffling along the offensive line and Singletary’s recommitment to finish strong as a rush team. Despite Singletary’s successes, the team’s willingness to bring in Matt Breida during the previous offseason serves as evidence that the team remains open to being—at the very least—more explosive with the running back position.
As a response to both Moss’ struggles and Brieda’s pending free agency, the Bills may look to the draft, either providing a bit more competition with a player who demonstrates a different skillset, or perhaps making a big investment in the position with a true bell-cow runner. Here are some tailback contenders from the 2022 NFL Draft who the Bills may be eyeing.
Breece Hall (Iowa State)
Isaiah Spiller (Texas A&M)
There’s a chance none of these players are drafted in the first round, but both can be bell-cow running backs. Hall is a patient, shifty player with outstanding contact balance. He can roll with the punches, so to speak, but lacks some long speed. Spiller is a dynamic, explosive player and can doubly threaten as a pass catcher. He runs a bit too upright, and needs to do a better job securing the football.
Kyren Williams (Notre Dame)
Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State)
Brian Robinson Jr. (Alabama)
Zach Charbonett (UCLA)
Pierre Strong Jr. (South Dakota State)
Williams’s overall game is like Jaret Patterson from last year, in that he’s extremely well-rounded. Though small, he can pass protect well and it’s tough to bring him down. There are questions about Walker’s utility in the passing game from his lack of usage, but he’s built like a tank and can be relied upon, since we’ve seen his impressive amount of college carries. Robinson is one tough runner to tackle and was famous in college for turning two-yard runs into four- or five-yard runs because of his ability to push the pile. His overall agility and ability are noteworthy, especially since he can dodge most defenders. He’s a big runner despite being 6’1” and 220 lbs. In contrast to a guy like Robinson, usually the first tackler to reach Strong brings him down. Regardless, he’s a home-run hitter and may compete to be the fastest runner at the NFL Combine.
Tyler Allgeier (BYU)
Zamir White (Georgia)
Fumbling problems and a lack of passing-game experience hurt Allgeier, but he’s like Robinson in that he maximizes every run and always falls forward. At one time, White was an elite athlete and a hyped college player, but multiple injuries may have sapped some of those original gifts.