With the NFL Draft just days away, the anxiety builds on who the Bills may select with their first-round pick. One of the things analysts mentioned time and time again as a weak spot in the Bills’ game comes through the way of the running game. Despite increased production from running back Devin Singletary last season, who rushed for career highs 870 yards and 7 touchdowns, getting a bit more out of the running game seems paramount.
This is where Breece Hall comes in. Hall, who finished in the top ten in Heisman voting each of the last two seasons, figures to be the first running back taken in the upcoming draft. There are many different opinions out there about what the Bills should be looking for in the draft. But if Hall manages to last until the Bills pick at 25, it becomes difficult to see a better pick being made.
Breece In Extremis
Let’s put the presence of Breece Hall in the Bills’ backfield in context. Looking around the NFL today, fewer teams rely on one primary running back to carry the load than ever before. Drafting Hall shouldn’t be seen as a repudiation of Devin Singletary; it should be seen as adding another piece to a dynamic set. The Bills have been through a few different backs who’ve worked alongside Singletary in the past couple of seasons. Zack Moss is perhaps the most substantial among them. Last season, Moss ran for 345 yards and 4 touchdowns.
That’s a combined 11 touchdowns for the top two backs in Buffalo last season. That left perennial everything quarterback extraordinaire Josh Allen to do much of the heavy lifting in the running game. It’s remarkable to watch Allen do the kinds of things he does week-in-week-out, but it’s also essential that the Bills make the biggest invesment in their franchise stays on the field and healthy.
Lightening The Load
It is reasonable to expect that Josh Allen will be able to do the kind of running he did last season again in 2022. Why not? But is it reasonable to expect him to be able to do this kind of work without contending with the physical consequences of doing so? Sadly, no. This is another reason why the addition of Breece Hall makes good sense for the Bills. Taking just enough of the load off Allen to preserve his remarkable abilities for as long as physically possible will mean a lot to the Bills if they’re going to impose their will over the AFC for the next several years to come.
Last season, the Bills were an unfortunate coin toss away from the AFC Championship game. Had the overtime rules in place for 2022 been in place last season, the Super Bowl picture may have been different. I digress a bit, but only slightly. The point is the Bills are right where they want to be. They’re so close to capturing what has alluded them throughout their history. Doing everything in the organization’s power to strengthen areas where they fell short should be a priority.
Buffalo Bills To Infinity
So, what exactly does Breece Hall bring to the table? Natalie Miller of Draftwire described Hall saying, “Hall was insanely productive over his last two seasons at Iowa State, accounting for an eye-popping 46 total touchdowns, and proving himself as the engine of the Cylcones’ offense.” That breaks down to a nice 23 touchdowns per season, more than double what the Bills’ two major backs put together last season. He can also factor into the passing offense. Last season at Iowa State, Hall had 302 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. Even if Hall can put out half the amount of touchdowns in his NFL rookie campaign as he did in each of the last two seasons of his NCAA career, you can put him in the Buffalo backfield and expect an immediate net gain.
In this, you have the pressure taken off Josh Allen and an additional dynamic added to the Bills’ overall offensive threat. Suppose opposing defenses become more focused on the running attack from actual running backs. In that case, this opens up the passing game even more so. This also makes the threat Allen poses on the ground even more lethal because of its increasing unpredictability. Imagine how dangerous the Buffalo offense could be if Hall proves to be a worthy draft pick.