Buffalo Bills could add RB depth in draft

February, 26, 2014
Feb 26
9:10
AM ET
Offensively, the Buffalo Bills' most pressing needs this offseason are at offensive line and tight end.

But what about running back?

There isn't much question at the position next season, as Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are expected to carry the load once again. In the NFL, though, it's good business to keep an eye further down the road.

Jackson turned 33 last week and enters the final season of his contract. While it would be a shock if Jackson decided to finish his career outside of Buffalo, his age and contract situation present some uncertainty.

Meanwhile, Spiller could also enter the final season of his deal. His six-year rookie contract includes a voidable final year (2015), which could put him on the market next spring.

It's entirely possible that both Jackson and Spiller could return in 2015. If they don't, the Bills have little depth at the position. They promoted Ronnie Wingo from the practice squad last October and he barely saw the field. At this point, he may not be more than a depth-level player.

In January, the Bills signed Anthony Allen, who spent two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. He brings some experience and special-teams ability that could earn him a roster spot with a strong preseason, but he's not a viable replacement option for Jackson or Spiller.

Enter this May's draft.

The Bills aren't going to target a running back in the first round unless it's an Adrian Peterson-type player, general manager Doug Whaley said last week. There isn't a Adrian Peterson-type player in this year's draft, so don't hold your breath.

But what about the middle rounds? That could be the sweet spot for the Bills to draft a running back.

At last week's combine, the Bills interviewed Boston College running back Andre Williams, who was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

"His agent, Erik Burkhardt, had made a good suggestion: Bring a notebook to write down the names of all the people you meet with," wrote TheMMQB.com's Jenny Vrentras. "But in Williams’ first formal meeting, with the Bills on Friday night, he was greeted by eight people upon entering the room. He shook each person’s hand, but there simply wasn’t enough time in the 15-minute window to write down everyone’s name."

Williams is expected to be a mid-round pick and the Bills have a potential long-term need at running back. Still, it's dangerous to read into the Bills' interview, as every NFL team sits down with dozens of players in Indianapolis.

Because of that, it's far too early to say the Bills are "interested" in Williams, but it's not too early to consider running back as a draft need for Buffalo.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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