Earlier this week, I joined Jerry Sullivan on his radio show for 1270 The Fan. It was an excellent experience and one that not only I enjoyed, but Jerry did, too. Normally, I don’t do this type of stuff. Before and after an interview, I promote it on my Twitter page @RussNFLDraft and leave it at that. However, I’d like to reiterate some of the talking points from my conversation with Jerry for all of our loyal Bills fans on Cover 1 and those who visit our site every day!
The last few months, I’ve spent a great deal of time talking with radio hosts all over the country. For the most part, we’re talking about draft prospects from the 2019 NFL Draft, but at times, we dive into a discussion about rostered NFL players.
On the Jerry Sullivan Show, we did just that. This time, we focused heavily on the rookies for the Buffalo Bills. Before we jumped into the conversation, Jerry asked me about Josh Allen. What are my thoughts about him from OTAs and my expectations going into year two?
My thoughts are this: Josh Allen has a tremendous amount of upside. My opinion of him has changed from what I thought of him in college to what I believe now. He carries himself so well, and you can tell that everyone loves him. Every time he steps onto the field or into the room, it changes. Not like it does for Baker Mayfield, but it’s similar.
Beyond that, the Bills have done a terrific job building this offense around Josh Allen and his skillset. Is the team complete? Not yet; they still don’t have a true number one receiver. However, they have nice complements. John Brown and Robert Foster have the speed to get vertical down the field.
Meanwhile, Cole Beasley will be a great utility player underneath. Zay Jones has the chance to have an impact in year three of his career like Tyler Boyd did last year (his third year in the league) for the Bengals. They are comparable to each other, and hopefully it pans out of Zay, but also for the development of Josh Allen.
Continuing the discussion about how this offense has been restructured, the pillars of it are on the offensive line. The Bills have added veterans such as Quinton Spain, Mitch Morse, Ty Nsekhe, LaAdrian Waddle, and Spencer Long. All of these players will compete, and if they don’t get cut, will contribute one way or another. Aside from those players, they already have two offensive linemen, Wyatt Teller and Dion Dawkins, both of whom are established in this offense. I think they both should be starting along this revamped offensive line.
To finalize this offensive line, they drafted Cody Ford in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He’s a terrific fit in this offense with his size at 6’4″ and 329 pounds. His foot speed is good, and despite his hand placement having a tendency to get wild from time to time, he’s got good grip strength and should find a spot along the right side of the line sooner or later. He shouldn’t be rushed into a starting role. Instead, he should have to earn it. The competition is stiff, and he’ll have to be the better player out of some of the names listed above.
The most intriguing question about the Bills’ offense is what happens with the running backs. Jerry asked me this question, and I’m absolutely fascinated by the possibilities for the Bills. They were certainly a run-first team last year, and I don’t think that will change unless they feel confident that Allen can sling the ball around the field 35-40 times per game, if not more. However, they’re built and coached like the teams we grew up loving: solid defense and a good rushing attack.
LeSean McCoy shouldn’t be cut or traded. He should be the “starting” back for much of the season. Something that the Bills should consider is how much they want him to touch the football. Does he get all of the touches, or maybe it’s something along the lines of a 60-40 split with the other running backs in the room? It seems as if McCoy gets hurt near the end of the season every year, but that can change with how their roster is shaped right now.
There are also veterans Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon. Gore might end up being a “camp body” who is there to teach the third-round pick, Devin Singletary. But I believe that he’ll make it through and be more of a short-yardage and red zone back for the Bills. The players that should be catching passes out of the backfield are McCoy and Yeldon. Going back to the split backfield and saving McCoy for later in the year, Yeldon could (and should) see work in the early stages of the year. He does have 171 receptions in his career, 55 of which came last season.
Finally, what about Devin Singletary? If those other three running backs are touching the football, and we know that Josh Allen is going to run for 500 or 600 yards on his own, where does that leave the third-round pick? Right in the middle, and used when needed. Singletary doesn’t have any elite traits. There’s very little breakaway speed, but he is very good between the tackles. His contact balance is excellent, and he moves around like a pinball.
Like I’ve said, the Bills can use McCoy for the entire year or limit him on a week-to-week basis. They can pretty much do that with any of their running backs. For the first time in a long time, they have a backfield that can be utilized like the New England Patriots. Bills fans don’t like hearing that, but it’s the truth. Ride the hot hand and let these running backs do what they’re good at. They all do something different compared to each other, so it should be a nice blend of four running backs being efficient for the Bills’ offense.
To listen to the entire interview, you can use the link below! I was the last interview of the day for Jerry, so it’ll be near the bottom of the page. I wanted to create this post and go into more depth than normal from a radio interview to make it clear what I really think can happen for the Buffalo Bills and their draft picks from the 2019 NFL Draft. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on Twitter @RussNFLDraft, and of course, thank you for reading and listening!