Bryce Brown: Buffalo's Workhorse RB in 2015?

Bryce Brown is a bit of an unknown. He's seen limited carries in college and the pros, but he's shown plenty of ability in his three seasons. In Greg Roman's offense, Brown may be Buffalo's best option as a workhorse running back.

The Buffalo Bills want to run a ground-and-pound offense in 2015. That's a given. Rex Ryan loves smash mouth football and offensive coordinator Greg Roman loves running the ball. The biggest question for the Bills is do they currently have a running back who can be their workhorse back?

Fred Jackson, Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown are all under contract in 2015, but there are doubts around all three rushers. 

In a few days, Jackson will turn 34 years old. He can still run and catch passes out of the backfield, but a workhorse? Doubtful. Jackson has missed 14 games in the last four seasons. His highest amount of attempts in those four seasons were 206. He can certainly contribute this year, but he's not someone you can count upon long term.

Anthony Dixon is a complementary back. In San Francisco, with Roman as offensive coordinator, Dixon saw seasons of 29, 21, and 28 carries. Frank Gore saw 282, 258 and 276 carries during these three seasons, so no other back had much in terms of opportunity. That said, while Dixon can grind out tough yards, he's not a guy you can imagine carrying the ball 250 times or more. 

That leaves Bryce Brown. He is Buffalo's wild card at running back. Last season, Brown had trouble getting onto the field. It took injuries to Jackson and C.J. Spiller for him to be active. On the field, he averaged 3.5 yards per carry, but showed the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. While his 2014 season wasn't overly encouraging, he'll have the chance to prove himself in 2015.

Brown is only 23 years old (he turns 24 in May) and has shown some play-making ability. He averaged 4.9 and 4.2 YPC in his first two seasons, and showed some play-making ability with the Philadelphia Eagles. Another plus to Brown is that he has plenty of tread on his proverbial tires. In the NFL, he's seen a total of 226 rushing attempts. In college, Brown only saw 104 attempts between his time at Tennessee and Kansas State. He certainly has fresh legs.

Another thing that Brown has going for him? His build. It's pretty similar to Frank Gore's build. Gore measures in at 5'9" and 217 pounds. Brown is 6'0" and 220 pounds. Brown is a bit taller, but he has some power and size to him. 

The biggest area of concern with Brown is how he handles the football. Brown carries the ball away from his body a bit too loosely. In his limited NFL career, Brown has fumbled the ball five times. He had an extremely costly fumble against the Kansas City Chiefs this season as he was running into the end zone. If he fixes this part of his game, he could see plenty of playing time in 2014,

Brown is a free agent after the 2015 season, so he'll be looking to make an impact this season. Unless the Bills add a free agent or draft a running back early, Brown will likely get that opportunity. If there's any back on the roster that can be Buffalo's workhorse, it's Brown.


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