Our NFL rookie profile series continues with this analysis of 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Devin Singletary, RB from Florida Atlantic. You can also check out all of our NFL Draft Prospect articles here. We will continue to provide you with these in-depth rookie profiles and a ton of other fantasy football rookie analysis right up through the NFL Draft. Stay tuned, and stay ahead of your league!
Compared to recent years, this group of running backs is considered less talented and less likely to create a big impact once they hit the NFL scene. This year’s class lacks the “generational” type of player that we have recently grown accustomed too. However, if some of these running backs get drafted into favorable situations, we could see a few of these running backs emerge as reliable fantasy assets.
Devin Singletary has the potential to make an impact if he gets drafted by a team who can optimize his skill set. He’s not an exact fit for every team in the league, but he does have some qualities that could allow him to be productive. Let’s take a look at his rookie profile to how he could succeed in the NFL.
[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]
Statistics from sports-reference.com.
Singletary had three straight 1,000-yard seasons and averaged six yards per carry during his entire career. He had a strong finish to his freshman season, rushing for 726 yards in his final four games.
His success continued into his sophomore season where he recorded 12 straight games with 100 yards or more, scoring a touchdown in every game but one. That year, he recorded a 46.9 percent dominator rating and a 30.34 percent market share of Florida Atlantic’s offensive production.
We saw his production throttle down a bit during his junior season, but he still was able to post good numbers, exceeding the 100-yard mark six times with seven multi-touchdown games.
The most discouraging thing about Singletary’s production was his (lack of) usage in the passing game. He recorded just a 5.33 percent target share during his three-year career at Florida Atlantic. His receptions slowly dissipated from 26 catches during his freshman season to just six during his junior season.
His limited use in the passing game is a concern and could indicate that he has some limitations as a receiver out of the backfield.
Another red mark on his production profile is that he only accumulating 133 yards on the ground against power five schools, averaging just 3.68 yards per carry. Granted, Florida Atlantic is a smaller school and their offensive line was playing at a disadvantage in those games, but typically, a stud prospect who plays for a small school will still be able to get positive results against tougher competition. It may not be in every game and their numbers might not be at their best, but they will still at least flash against superior competition.
In this game against Central Florida, Singletary rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns. I like this game because it showcased a good depiction of his skill sets. UCF went undefeated during the regular season, beating teams like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Memphis. Considering the level of competition in this game, this might have been one of Singletary’s best games of his entire career.
He’s a smooth runner who moves laterally very well. He has a good jump cut that he likes to use a lot to create space from defenders to gain extra yardage. His vision allows him to quickly find the hole and read the momentum of the defender, so he can swiftly make his cut and use the defender’s momentum against them to break free to reach open space.
Another thing I like about his game is his low center of gravity. He gets low at the point of contact which allows him to churn through defenders and not get pushed back during the initial interaction with the defender. Though he’s not really a power runner, he does maintain balance well which allows him to bounce off tacklers to gain extra yards. He will never be the guy you want carrying the load on short yardage and goal line situations, but he’s not afraid to get dirty and drop his pad level to pick up an extra yard.
His elusiveness is his key trait. This is stemmed by his excellent vision and patience. However, his swift feet allow him to cut on a dime and make tacklers miss. Many people fell in love with him due to his highlight-reel runs of him juking multiple defenders and laterally eating up space with quick jump-cuts. He’s a very slippery runner with some wiggle.
One of his negative traits is his lack of burst. He just doesn’t have the pop in his step to allow him to quickly accelerate to and through the hole. Once he stops, it takes some extra time for him to regain speed again. This allows the defense to catch up to him, preventing him from busting out the long gain.
Only six percent of his runs went for 20 yards or more in 2018. This stems from his lack of long speed. He’s not a threat to score from anywhere on the football field. Defenders can easily catch him from behind in the open field. This is a concern because he can’t consistently win with power at the next level and speed will be needed to equal things out once he plays against superior competition.
It’s easy to see just by looking at this spider-graph that he’s a sub-par athlete. He ran a sloth-like 4.66 40-yard dash at 203 pounds, equating to an 86.1 weight adjusted speed score – third worst amongst running backs at the combine.
For a running back who is known for his elusiveness on film, his 7.32 three-cone was rather poor – especially when you take into account his size. On a ‘positive’ note, he did record average-level burst with a 35-inch vertical and 117-inch broad jump.
After taking everything into account, Singletary doesn’t meet the athletic thresholds to be able to compete at the NFL level. If he becomes a productive fantasy asset, he will be a major outlier. There are literally no productive players with his size-adjusted athleticism in the league.
Singletary’s dynasty value took a massive hit after the combine. Even though he experienced a drop in value, he’s still holding some weight in rookie and startup drafts. Right now, he currently holds a 108.50 ADP, making him a ninth round pick in startup drafts and the 39th running back off the board. He’s being drafted ahead of players like Nyheim Hines, Tre’Quan Smith, Austin Ekeler and many more.
His rookie draft value has also seen a steep decline since the combine. Before, he was flirting with first round status, but now he is holding a 17.60 ADP, making him a mid-second round pick and the seventh running back off the board.
I suspect that his value will drop even further once we find out where he goes in the draft. I highly doubt the NFL will draft him in the first two days with his combine numbers. Without the draft capital, it’s going to be hard to pull the trigger on him in the first couple of rounds in rookie drafts.
I sorted through all the trades that involved second-round picks using DLF’s Trade Finder. A second-round rookie pick could net you players like Kenyan Drake or Tyrell Williams on the trade market. Also, I’ve noticed a lot of dynasty owners used their second-round pick in a package with other picks and players to upgrade a certain position. If anything, this info tells us that we could use our pick to trade out for a proven veteran instead of drafting Singletary. I’m not saying it’s the best option, but there are plenty of dynasty owners who are using their draft capital now to improve their team.
Singletary was very productive at Florida Atlantic. He’s a very elusive runner who can string together a few highlight-reel moves. However, his athleticism leaves dynasty owners wanting more and could be the key factor that prevents him from breaking out at the next level. When and where he goes in the draft will dictate his dynasty value. Right now, it appears that his value is quickly tanking due to his combine results and this could cause him to turn into a value in drafts in the next few months.