We are now less than 10 days away from the Bills reporting for training camp at St. John Fisher.
As we near the start of the 2022 NFL season, we take a look at the roster Brandon Beane has built for Sean McDermott. In many ways, an embarrassment of riches.
Part 2 of the ten part preview is on the running backs.
You can find Part 1 on the quarterbacks here.
Strength: Pass Catching
Second round pick James Cook landed a day two draft slot primarily because of his pass catching ability. It is quite prolific. He finished with 67 receptions and six TDs, averaging over 10 yards per reception.
Duke Johnson is not all that far removed from a 70-catch season and is still not 30 years old. Even Devin Singletary has ranked 21st and 12th the last two years in catches by a running back. The Bills are well stocked with backs who can make plays through the air.
Weakness: Elite Traits
Singletary is one of the league’s best tackle missers and Cook has Larry Centers type potential as a receiver.
Beyond that, there’s not a ton of wow factor from this group. Cook has the best speed, but it’s good not great. The elite short yardage grinder is the quarterback.
There are lots of reasons defensive coordinators will be up late getting ready for the Bills offense. Running back is not one of them. Unless…
X-Factor: James Cook
Look out if Cook can blossom as a receiver quickly. Ken Dorsey must be dreaming about Cook in the slot, one on one against a linebacker. It’s matchup he flat cooked (no pun intended) in college.
The potential for instant impact is there with Cook, but targets and learning curve are in question. Some pass catching backs can pick it up quickly. Duke Johnson and Nyheim Hines both had 60 catches as a rookie. On the other side, J.D. McKissic wasn’t successful until year five. A bust out year from Cook could take the Bills offense to unimaginable levels.