The Bills kept their frenetic trade pace up during draft weekend as they acquired RB Bryce Brown in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. Buffalo swapped seventh round picks with the Eagles in the 2014 draft and gave the Eagles an undisclosed future draft choice.
The trade is Buffalo's fourth in three days and second trade involving a player after the Bills dealt Stevie Johnson to San Francisco for an undisclosed 2015 pick.
Brown, just 22-years old, recorded 878 rushing yards on 190 carries (4.6 avg.) in 32 games (five starts) with the Philadelphia Eagles over the past two years. The 6-0, 220-pound Kansas State product joined the Eagles as a seventh-round (229th overall) draft choice in 2012.
Set to enter his third NFL season, Brown was caught off guard by the trade.
"Yeah I was definitely surprised by it, but I think it's a great opportunity for me to come in and be able to contribute in any way that I can," said Brown. "I'm excited to go in and learn. I'll be able to pick up whatever offense they run."
Buffalo, a team that led the NFL in total rushes from scrimmage in 2013, was in need of reinforcements at the running back position. Both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson struggled through persistent and nagging injuries last season and Buffalo did not have comparable talent behind them to maintain the consistency of the ground game.
Brown offers breakaway speed with the power to grind out yards between the tackles. At just 22-years of age the physically gifted back has his best football in front of him. He's just hoping after a couple of disjointed years in the college ranks that his NFL career can gain a sturdy foothold in Buffalo.
"I hope so. I think it's a great place to start. It's a great opportunity with C.J. (Spiller) there. He actually hosted me on one of my official visits to Clemson," said Brown. "He's a running back that I looked up to for a long time in college and in the pros. So I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can from him and take what he does and try to apply it to my game. There are some other talented guys there too."
In 2008 Brown was widely considered the best high school running back prospect in the nation and began his college career at Tennessee. He ultimately transferred to Kansas State, which was closer to his native Wichita. After playing one season he declared for the 2012 NFL draft where the Eagles made him a seventh-round pick.
"I remember watching him at Tennessee, and he was unbelievable as a freshman," said Bills Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos. "He had some problems, went to Kansas State and the Eagles got him in the seventh round. They gave him the ball a little bit in 2012 and you can see some real ability. This guy has size, speed and he is an explosive playmaker."
Brown was not invited to the NFL combine, but at his pro day he ran in the high 4.3s, had at 34-inch vertical and 22 reps on the bench press. He also had a nine-foot nine-inch broad jump.
"I run with a lot of heart and a lot of effort. I think speed is kind of my thing," said Brown. "I really rely heavily on my speed and I'm very confident in my speed as well. I'm excited about the journey and I can't wait to get started."