Running Backs are replaceable they say, but not all the attributes of specific Running Backs are replaceable. For example, Le’Veon Bell is one of the best RBs in football, but his production was all but replaced last season with James Conner and Jaylen Samuels emerging onto the scene as quality backs.
However, that does not mean the backfield cannot get a bit more dynamic. Meet Devin Singletary, who is one of the most electric prospects I have watched this draft season.
Weight: 200 lbs
Expected 40: 4.48
Data Courtesy of SportsReference.com
If there is a guy who combined human joystick and contact balance together, Singletary was that guy. This man really does rattle off some crazy runs. He has dumb good feet, as they are quick and his ankles are so flexible, which causes some unreal cuts.
Devin Singletary is RB2, he has grown on me that much. This dude is an absolute stud.pic.twitter.com/JNOnZWcnY4— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 3, 2019
My real takeaway from plays like this is insane center of balance and body control. Singletary contorts his body in ways that RBs should not be able to contort their bodies. It is incredibly impressive with moves like that hop step to stay in bounds. He creates these lanes for himself. So, even if the OL somehow breaks down, Singletary is one of those RBs that can break anything.
Above all else, though, he is incredibly slippery. I mean, this guy has insane elusiveness in the open field. Somehow, he has incredible peripheral vision to make crazy cuts that can spring himself loose. He has that vision that toys with defenders and draws them inside so he can bounce it outside. It is incredibly impressive to say the least.
FAU RB Devin Singletary is legit. His cutting ability is insane. I wouldn’t say he’s a burner but he is definitely elusive and agile. With the contact balance he shows consistently, he’s gonna be a good NFL RB. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/xL5MyWdgHT— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 9, 2019
Agility is key with Singletary. He is not that fast, at least in terms of his size and frame, he does not have elite burst at all, but what he does is that lateral quickness. It is why he can be so shifty and stay on his feet as he is making jukes and cuts.
However, even with all that in his arsenal, Singletary still enjoys running over guys as well. This guy can lower the boom for a dude that is only 5’9”.
Devin Singletary is a damn bowling ball. Dude has fantastic contact balance. He’s so much fun to watch. pic.twitter.com/pvBeUdD3t6— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 31, 2019
That is a violent collision and one of the facts that Singletary shows in his game is that he is not afraid of contact. Unless the situation warrants it, he will fight for the extra yards and not go out of bounds. I love that competitive toughness and spirit in my RBs.
And just to leave you off, check out his freaky elusiveness and cutting ability in a few clips of him doing just that insanity.
Devin Singletary is unreal. He is gonna have to be a Top 5 RB in this class, the dude is super legit. pic.twitter.com/IKI6PsHkz7— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 31, 2019
As I said earlier, I am not a huge fan of the burst Singletary displays consistently. I think it is modest at best for his size, and that I would want him running near 4.38-4.41 rather than in the 4.46-4.49 range, but that is where he is at. His frame also just does him no favors for pass protection. He has to improve there, it is just okay at this point. He had limited receiving opportunities, but when he did have them, I thought he showed pretty good hands.
Fit with the Steelers
The Steelers do not have a guy who can be slippery or turn a play into a big play like Singletary can right now. He is an excellent option to be a change of pace and would create a 3 headed attack that I would love to see.
Optimistic Take: Who cares about the burst? Singletary is an elite running back who can do everything, he can ever pass protect due to an improvement in technique. He very well might be a top 5 RB and can elevate an offense whenever he is on the field.
Pessimistic Take: Yeah, that burst actually matters a lot and makes Singletary a bit less dynamic than what he was in college. He is never a good pass protector and is best served as a good rotational back who can still be dynamic.
My Take: I think Singletary is a fantastic RB and should be that at the next level. You will get instant production from him, and with limited touches in the right system to keep him fresh, he will an electric game breaker. Watch out, the only RB I see better in this class is Josh Jacobs.