Josh Allen Gets the Help Bills Mafia is Clamoring For in Latest Todd McShay Mock Draft
The Buffalo Bills came into the 2022 NFL season as Super Bowl favorites. However, the campaign ended in disappointment as Josh Allen and company lost at home in the Divisional Round to the Cincinnati Bengals. The visitors were by far the better team on the day, and the loss showed that Buffalo still has a ways to go before they are true Super Bowl contenders.
Now the road to Super Bowl starts with the 2023 NFL Draft, and the Bills have several holes to fill across the roster. The good news for Bills Mafia is that in the latest Todd McShay mock draft, the ESPN analyst has the Bills addressing a major issue on offense that fans griped about all season.
The latest Todd McShay mock draft has the Bills addressing the running game
One of the Bills’ problems in 2022 was the lack of a traditional running game. Buffalo had the ninth-most rushing yards in the NFL in 2022, but when you take away Josh Allen’s 762 yards, the team drops to 31st in the league.
Over the last two seasons, the Bills have tried Devin Singletary, James Cook, Nyheim Hines, Zack Moss, and Matt Breida at running back and haven’t got the results from any of them.
In the latest Todd McShay mock draft on ESPN.com, McShay has the Bills finally committing to a high-end running back and picking Jahmyr Gibbs out of Alabama at No. 27.
“With Devin Singletary also on an expiring deal, Buffalo might look to jumpstart its run game with Gibbs, who rushed 151 times for 926 yards and caught 44 passes for another 444 last season,” McShay writes. “Bills running backs totaled 1,418 yards on the ground last season, 24th best in the NFL, and only four teams had fewer rushing TDs from that position group (seven).”
McShay goes on to praise “Gibbs’ vision and shiftiness” and says he would complement Cook, Hines, and Allen well.
Jahmyr Gibbs is an interesting prospect, and his value should continue to go up after he shows off his tremendous speed at the NFL combine. The issue with Gibbs is that he is a relatively small RB, listed at 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds.
Additionally, Gibbs has never had more than 151 carries in a season at Alabama or in his two previous seasons at Georgia Tech. By comparison, the NFL leader in carries this season, Derrick Henry, had 349 rushes.
Who should Buffalo take with the No. 27 in the 2023 NFL Draft?
Jahmyr Gibbs is an explosive player who can catch and run and take the ball from any point on the field and find the end zone. He’s an excellent weapon to have. However, he’s a part-time back at the NFL level.
The Bills already have plenty of part-time backs on their roster. What Buffalo needs is a bell cow.
Whether offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey (and Brian Daboll before him) didn’t call enough run plays because he didn’t have an every-down back, or Devin Singletary and Zack Moss never became every-down backs because the OCs didn’t call enough run plays is a chicken or the egg question.
That said, if the Bills give Dorsey an NFL-caliber three-down RB next season, there will be no more excuses.
Unfortunately, taking Jahmyr Gibbs in the 2023 NFL Draft doesn’t give Dorsey that three-down runner. To get that player, the Bills have two options.
One is to find a way to get Texas RB Bijan Robinson. The former Longhorn is 6 feet, 220 pounds, and is the best RB prospect to come out of college since Saquon Barkley. In the latest Todd McShay mock draft, Robinson goes No. 22 to the Baltimore Ravens.
This means to get the Texas RB, the Bills would likely have to trade up.
If general manager Brandon Beane doesn’t want to do that, there is option two, where the Bills can wait until Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft and take a less explosive but more traditional back who could become the team’s RB1.
Going this route, the Bills could look at Zach Charbonnet from UCLA, Sean Tucker from Syracuse, or Tank Bigsby from Auburn.