Brandon Beane said the Bills are happy with what they have at running back and they aren’t looking to draft one early next week.
Everything Beane said after that will make the growing hoard of Travis Etienne fans in Western New York very happy.
The Bills have spent third rounds picks the last two drafts on running backs. Devin Singletary and Zack Moss have performed adequately as part of an offense that has rapidly turned pass happy the past two seasons. Even Beane admitted there are things Singletary and Moss lack.
“I don’t think either one of our backs are home run hitters,” Beane said during his annual pre-draft Zoom conference with reporters.
Etienne is billed as exactly that. The Clemson star is probably the number one back when it comes to the “home run hitting” category.
He averaged 5.4 yards an attempt and scored 14 touchdowns in 12 games last season. Even more impressive, Etienne was second in the country among running backs with 48 receptions. He averaged more than 12 yards a catch and scored two more TDs.
He ran a 40 yard dash in just over 4.4 seconds. It’s fast, but not as blazing as expected. Current Bills running back Matt Breida ran the 40 in 4.38 seconds at his Combine.
Beane said he won’t worry about using an early draft pick on a running back for a third consecutive season. The bigger worry would be spending a pick on a player that doesn’t add a dimension to the offense.
” ” Beane said.
Beane did not provide many other nuggets about the way he’s leaning in the draft. He discussed at length the benefits of both trading up and trading down. He did say the priority is “long term more than short term”.
As with most general managers this time of year, Beane says the plan is to take the best player available. It does sound like the ‘best’ player will be someone Beane and his scouts think can expand what the Bills can do to win games.
“What does this player bring to you that you don’t already have on the roster that you’re going, ‘Man, if we add that to the group, that’s gonna help our overall offense’,” he said.
The Etienne chapter of BillsMafia will be chomping at the bit if he’s still on the board at pick 30 next Thursday.