Devin Singletary presents an interesting question – what counts most? Production or physical attributes? Hard to argue against a back that totaled 2,116 yards as a sophomore and rushed for over 1,000 yards in all three seasons at Florida Atlantic. Also, it is a challenge to just ignore an undersized back that is not very fast and limited receiving experience.
Singletary was prolific in Conference USA, starting all three years while playing for ex-Raider and USC coach Lane Kiffin. He set the single-season record for his school with 1,918 rushing yards in 2017. He led all Division I FBS players that year in scoring. He declared for the NFL draft as a junior.
He ended his college career with 22 games that topped 100 rushing yards and four that totaled over 200 rushing yards. While he remained in the Conference USA conference, he dominated at that level.
Weight: 203 pounds
40 time: 4.66 seconds
The NFL combine did no favors for Singletary who was listed as 5’9″ in college but only measured as 5’7″. He also ran a 4.66 40-yard dash as the 19th best of the 23 backs measured.
|Year||Games||Runs||Yards||Avg.||TD||Catch||Yards.||TD||Total Yards||Total TDs|
- Highly productive three-year starter
- Great vision that always finds open space
- Can take a hit and keep going
- Runs with good balance
- Elite skills in change of direction and cutting
- Better in open but won’t shy from contact
- Hard-nosed, aggressive runner
- Limited experience as a receiver
- Lacks size for pass protection
- Blocking skills need much work
- Lacks top-end speed and elite quickness
- One dimensional player so far
There’s no debate about Singletary at the Conference USA level. He provided the Owls with a workhorse back that they rode form the middle of his freshman season when he took over as the starter. He played with such dedication that his nickname is “Motor.”
He was under-used as a receiver so his skills in that area are at the least underdeveloped. He was a throw-back of sorts in that he was relied on to run the ball over 20 times in most games but rarely turned in more than one catch. His size suggests an NFL role as a scatback but his experience has not been as a third-down type at all. This was a small, thick back that dominated when he ran the ball.
These sort of players are always fascinating in the NFL because there’s an equal chance that he doesn’t find an appreciable role or that he steps up as a receiver and his natural running skills continue to shine. He shouldn’t be dinged too much for his level of competition since he dominated there. But his size and speed issues are also the sort of characteristics that present a much bigger problem facing NFL-quality defenses.
Singletary is projected by most as a third-round pick – still in the top ten backs drafted but likely not in the top five. The two teams most associated with him have been the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Rams. Landing in a spot with an opening like the Bears gives him immediate fantasy value as the runner paired with Tarik Cohen. The Rams would limit to him to being a backup for Todd Gurley with an occasional change-of-pace role.