Bryce Brown was a late seventh-round pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012. He has been a solid player, with 878 rushing yards in two seasons. Then the Eagles flipped him to the Buffalo Bills for a fourth-round pick that might become a third-rounder.
Wait, come again?
The Bills apparently really like Brown, who did not get one carry in the Eagles' playoff game last season, because they paid a good price to get him. The pick the Bills traded was actually the one acquired for receiver Stevie Johnson, so confusingly enough, Johnson's production will determine which pick Philadelphia gets, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane.
Buffalo traded a first- and fourth-round pick in 2015 to move up five spots to get receiver Sammy Watkins, so the Bills obviously don't think much of the 2015 draft. And they must feel they're on the cusp of finishing their rebuilding project and being a playoff team.
Think about it this way: The Eagles couldn't trade Pro Bowl receiver DeSean Jackson coming off a career year, but traded their backup running back for a fourth-round pick that can become a third? What a weird world the NFL can be sometimes.
The Bills are banking on Brown's potential, shown in two games and pretty much only two games. He had back-to-back games with 178 and 169 yards in 2012, but was mediocre the rest of that season and didn't do too much last year. If you take out those two games (which, unquestionably, were amazing), his career average is 3.6 yards per carry. The former five-star recruit had only 104 career carries and 476 yards in a tumultuous college career. Maybe getting out from LeSean McCoy's huge shadow will allow Brown to show he can be an every-down star. But it's a leap of faith.
Given what the Bills gave up for him, during an era in which nobody is paying for running back talent, he better be good. It was a surprising price to pay to find out.
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