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Devin Singletary a 1,000-yard rusher? NFL.com analyst thinks so

Bills Wire logo Bills Wire 6/13/2019 Justin DiLoro
a group of people sitting around a baseball field: USA TODAY © USA TODAY USA TODAY

The Buffalo Bills backfield is crowded. With veterans LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore, and TJ Yeldon on the roster, there's a collection of experienced backs who wish to make their mark this fall with the team. Throw in third-round pick Devin Singletary, and that makes many hands vying for a finite number of carries.

While it appears that McCoy holds the top spot on the depth chart, one NFL.com analyst envisions a scenario where the rookie becomes the most productive back in Buffalo's backfield.

NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt sees a possibility that Singletary unseats McCoy as the lead back for Buffalo. While Brandt does not view Singletary as a top-five rookie running back at this time, the long-established analyst views the rookie as a possible "dark-horse candidate to consider" among these rookie runners.

Brandt projects the Bills third-round pick to exceed the 1,000-yard mark on the season. However, there's a caveat within his thinking. Brandt recognizes the issue with so many bodies in the backfield for the Bills. Here's what Brandt had to say about Singletary in his article on rookie running backs published Tuesday:

The Bills have one of the most crowded backfields in the NFL, with free-agent signees Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon joining Singletary as newcomers to a group already led by LeSean McCoy. If the status quo holds, and Singletary ends up splitting carries or even sitting on the bench for most of his rookie year, he will fall far short of those projected numbers. The fact that his role is still up in the air is why I didn't want to include him among the other five backs in this piece, who have more obvious paths to relevance. The above stats reflect what I think Singletary will do IF his preseason performance convinces the Bills to clear the depth chart, maybe by trading away McCoy or another veteran, and hand him starter-level carries. The fact that the Bills were still willing to draft Singletary in the third round after adding those players speaks to how the team must feel about his potential.

Specifically, Brandt sees Singletary carrying the ball 255 times for 1,050 yards and six rushing touchdowns. He projects the rookie catching 45 passes as well.

Buffalo's running backs largely struggled last year, McCoy rushed for a career-worst 514 yards and 3.2 yards per carry. His back-up did not help the cause, as Chris Ivory could only muster 385 rushing yards and a slightly better yards per carry average (3.3).

McCoy and Gore have contracts through the 2019 season, while Yeldon is signed through the 2020 season. If Buffalo were to move on from McCoy, the team would take on a dead cap hit of $2.625 million according to Spotrac . Buffalo would clear $6.425 million from their cap space if the franchise were to move forward without the services of McCoy.

It's a bit premature to determine if Buffalo would be better off sending McCoy's services elsewhere. However, the team has options if they do make such a move.

It could be Singletary who fills the void.

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