Buffalo Bills Running Back Depth Chart Breakdown

Bills Running Back Depth Chart
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The Buffalo Bills have one of the best all-around offenses in football, but their running back depth chart is a little questionable. After passing on big names in free agency and the NFL Draft, Brandon Beane and company appear content with the current roster construction. Let’s take a look at the current names in the backfield and see if there’s anyone set for a major breakthrough.

Questions Throughout the Buffalo Bills Running Back Depth Chart

The “Starter”: Zack Moss

The Buffalo Bills will probably use a committee approach in 2021, so it isn’t exactly fair to call Zack Moss the starter. However, he should see the majority of the workload and valuable touches. As a rookie, Moss finished the season with 481 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 112 carries to go along with 14 receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown. He did this in 13 healthy games while never officially earning a start.

Moss didn’t set the world on fire by any stretch of the imagination, but he showed enough potential to believe he’s capable of handling a larger workload in his second season. As a prospect, most believed that Moss was one of the draft’s better receiving backs and pass protectors. That ability should be enough to keep him on the field, even though Josh Allen rarely checks down.

Additionally, Moss profiles as a better red zone running back than Devin Singletary. At 5’-9” and 223 pounds, Moss had a compact, physical build that allows him to fall forward on contact and pick up the extra yardage that could be the difference between touchdowns and field goals. Additionally, Moss excels at breaking tackles, which is an incredibly valuable trait in the short portion of the field.

The “Backup”: Devin Singletary

Devin Singletary is a fine early-down runner between the 20’s, but it’s hard to imagine him being used in any other capacity. At 5’-7” and 203 pounds, Singletary doesn’t have the traditional size to be a goal-line running back. This shows up in his usage, as the former third-round pick only has four rushing touchdowns in his two-year career. Even though Zack Moss battled injury as a rookie and didn’t have a full offseason, he still managed to steal most of the short-yardage work, and it’s hard to see that changing in 2021.

Additionally, Singletary is not anything special in the passing game. While he did finish with 38 receptions for 269 yards, he did not look good as an actual receiver. According to Pro Football Focus, Singletary finished the season with a 53.1 receiving grade, which was one of the lower marks among running backs. Zack Moss, by comparison, finished the season with a 61.0 grade.

Singletary might be a limited player, but he’s still a solid runner. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry behind a mediocre offensive line and finished the year as PFF’s RB46 despite his subpar receiving and pass-blocking grades. He’s a fine complementary player, but he probably won’t turn into anything more than that.

The Home Run Hitter: Matt Breida

Zack Moss and Devin Singletary are many things, but they are not big-play threats. General manager Brandon Beane mentioned a desire to find a home run hitter in the backfield, and that player might just be Matt Breida. Breida hasn’t managed to find a full-time NFL home thus far, but he is one of the fastest players in the league. Blessed with 4.44 speed (92nd percentile), the former San Francisco 49er has the ability to take it to the house every time he makes it into the open field.

However, getting to the open field in the first place is a major issue. Breida doesn’t have the best vision, and he hasn’t been able to earn starting jobs in pretty weak backfields. Last year, he fell behind Myles Gaskin on the depth chart and even lost a bit of work to Salvon Ahmed. He’s clearly the third back on this depth chart but could offer some excitement when on the field.

Special Teams: Taiwan Jones

Taiwan Jones has been in the NFL since 2011 but has never recorded more than 16 carries in any given season. The former fourth-round pick is the definition of a running back in name only, as he will spend the majority of the season working on the punt and kick teams. If you ever see him taking significant snaps in the backfield, something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Fighting For Depth: Antonio Williams, Christian Wade

Antonio Williams had a very busy 2020, continuously bouncing between the practice squad and the open market. The former undrafted free agent probably won’t make the roster without injuries to any of the aforementioned backs, but he could earn a depth spot in an emergency situation. The North Carolina product played well during his lone appearance last year, and he could be an adequate fill-in if disaster strikes.

Christian Wade is one of the most fun stories on the Buffalo Bills, but the former rugby star will remain on the outside looking in for this Bills running back depth chart analysis. The former Wasp hasn’t managed to crack the active roster since committing to football, and he’s not getting any younger.

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