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Rookie Spotlight - Devin Singletary


In a rookie class filled with many questionable landing spots, one that has turned out to be fairly exciting is Devin Singletary landing with the Buffalo Bills.

In the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Bills selected the electric running back out of FAU. During the off-season, the Bills have put together what may very well be the oldest group of backs in the league by adding Frank Gore to veteran LeSean McCoy. They also acquired T.J. Yeldon late in the NFL free agency period and now they add a fresh set of legs in Singletary out of FAU.

It's hard to know how this backfield will shake out in 2019 but with Gore and McCoy unlikely to be around past this season, Singletary could represent the future of a young offense on the rise.

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Measurements

Height: 5’7”
Weight: 203
Arm Length: 28 7/7”
Hands: 8 1/2
40-Yard Dash: 4.66 seconds
Bench Press: 15 reps
Vertical Jump: 35”
Broad Jump: 117”
3-Cone: 7.32 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.4 seconds

 

Strengths

After watching Singletary's tape during his time at FAU, the first thing that stands out to me is his shiftiness and quickness with the ball in his hands. He bounces outside very well and is excellent at making defenders miss. He's got great patience and vision as well, which goes great with his ability to make tacklers miss him. According to Pro Football Focus, 1,027 of his 1,348 rushing yards in 2018 came after contact. Another stat worth noting is that he posted six yards per carry throughout his college career.

Another area he excels at is the short-yardage situations. His ability to find the end zone could really make him valuable for the Bills, and ultimately for fantasy football purposes in the future. During his three seasons in college, he put up 66 touchdowns. In 2017 and 2018, he put up a staggering 54 combined. Singletary can also catch the ball well, but didn't have too many receptions during his time at FAU. It's worth noting that he went from 26 receptions in 2016, 19 in 2017, and six in 2018. When you watch his tape, you can see he has the ability to catch and does it well, but he wasn't asked to do so very much.

 

Weaknesses

One of the first things that stands out about Singletary regarding his weaknesses is his size. At 5'7" 203 pounds, he's definitely undersized for a running back in the NFL. The volume that he received during his time at college is a bit concerning, as he totaled over 700 carries over three seasons. He did go that entire time without dealing with any major injuries which is very impressive, but some analysts have shown concern about the mileage he has on him.

As far as his role in the NFL goes, Singletary isn't someone who profiles as a three-down back. He catches with his body at times and isn't someone who is a natural pass catcher. His outside speed is questionable at times, and his NFL Combine performance was underwhelming. It is worth noting that he looks faster in actual games than his numbers at the Combine showed, but his outside speed and long speed aren't breathtaking by any means. His 7.32 three-cone time is pretty underwhelming on top of his 4.66 40-yard dash time.

 

Landing Spot

After landing in Buffalo behind veteran backs McCoy and Gore, Singletary has jumped up my rankings just a bit. A lot of times, players can see a massive bump in value or their value can take a hit due to landing spots. Rookie Mecole Hardman is a perfect example of that after landing in Kansas City and with the Patrick Mahomes and the recent Tyreek Hill news.

Singletary will have an excellent opportunity to learn from two veteran backs who have had excellent NFL careers. He is someone I'm not expecting to get immediate production from and is more of a long-term play. He's potentially someone I'll be putting on my taxi squads for 2019. As far as his landing spot in the future goes, there's a good chance that Gore and McCoy are both gone after 2019 and Singletary should have more fantasy value in 2019 and beyond. For 2019, it would take an injury or two for him to see significant playing time, assuming both Gore and McCoy make the final roster.

 

Dynasty Outlook

At this point in time, Singletary is the 16th rookie off the board in dynasty rookie drafts according to My Fantasy League. This puts him at the beginning of the second round of rookie drafts and that spot seems about right.

I believe that at times, age and college usage can be a bit overblown for dynasty football purposes. At the end of the day, he is coming into the league as a 21-year-old rookie with plenty of football ahead of him. As someone who is going in the second round of rookie drafts, he offers some very interesting upside. Most of the upside is due to his landing spot and the direction that offense appears to be taking. McCoy and Gore are obviously not the long-term answers for Buffalo, but at this point, it appears that Josh Allen is the future and Singletary has a nice opportunity to be a key piece of that offense moving forward.

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