On Wednesday afternoon, the Buffalo Bills released running back Chris Ivory in a somewhat of a surprise move. This comes after the signing of seasoned veteran Frank Gore and another former Miami Dolphin Senorise Perry. Ivory played in 13 of the 16 games the Bills played, totaling 590 total yards, 3.3 yards per carry, and 1 touchdown. He was also the highest graded player on the Bills offense last season, according to PFF.
Now, the Bills currently have five running backs on their roster: LeSean McCoy, Gore Marcus Murphy, undrafted free agent Keith Ford, Perry, with McCoy not expected to lose his spot. Despite the signings of Gore and Perry, does this mean a running back could be selected in this year’s draft? In a very talented class full of highly-skilled running backs, it is entirely possible.
Out of some of the running back prospects in this class, there are few names we should be keeping an eye on. Maybe not at number nine, but definitely later in the draft.
Damien Harris, Alabama
image via Cedric Mason – Touchdown Alabama Magazine
Alabama Crimson Tide running back Damien Harris is the definition of a workhorse. Harris worked his way all throughout high school and into the starting lineup his freshman year and quickly became a fan favorite. Harris has consistently put up solid numbers year after year in the nation’s toughest conferences, the SEC. Although he may not have the jaw-dropping plays, he has the overall knowledge at the position to produce game-changing plays.
Projected Round: Early Second
Josh Jacobs, Alabama
Image via Mark Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports
Probably the highest touted running back in this year’s class is another member of the Crimson Tide, Josh Jacobs. Standing at 5’10”, 220 lbs, Jacobs had a sensational 2018 season, serving as a situational back behind Harris. Multiple mock drafts have him going as early as the fifth overall pick, but after somewhat disappointing outings at the combine and pro day, Jacobs will probably fall, and his lack of playing time throughout his college career does not help him. However, a player at his size could help the Bills transition from a shifty/elusive back to more of a power type of player.
Projected Round: Early Second
Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic
image via Joel Auerbach – Getty Images North America
Singletary has been one of the most slept-on players in the nation ever since joining Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic Owls in 2016. Singletary is well known for his high production as he led the nation in total touchdowns his sophomore year with 33. Although he has a high motor for scoring big plays, he lacks the big-time speed to escape defenders, as he put up only a 4.66 40-yard dash at the combine.
Projected Round: Mid Second – Third
David Montgomery, Iowa State
image via Scott Dochterman – the Athletic
David Montgomery, the Iowa State Cyclones’ starting running back for the past three seasons, has also been one of the most dominant backs in all of the college football. He has accounted for a majority of the plays the Cyclones have run, getting 20+ carries a game, which may have added some early wear-and-tear. His compact frame is what helps him the most, along with his play vision, and pure determination. Although he regressed in 2018, he can hopefully pick it up his rookie season and be dominant in the pros as he was in College.
Projected Round: Late Second – Mid Third
Although those four are only some of the many talented players in this year’s draft class, other intriguing prospects are Memphis’ Darrell Henderson, Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill, and Penn State’s Myles Sanders are all names to keep an eye out on.
Out of the 41 pre-draft visits the Bills have had with prospects, three of them have been running backs: FAU’s Devin Singletary, Stanford’s Bryce Love, and Wisconsin full back Alec Ingold. Each of these backs has the potential to be selected by the Bills with one of the picks they have. With less than thirty days until draft day, the next few weeks leading up to it may reveal more information on whether or not drafting a running back is likely.