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Eddie Lacy Sees Advantages of Playing for Green Bay, Namely Aaron Rodgers

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Eddie Lacy Sees Advantages of Playing for Green Bay, Namely Aaron Rodgers

Alabama running back Eddie Lacy. Photo by Brian Carriveau of Cheesehead TV.

 

This article was originally published on Feb. 22 at the NFL Combine. INDIANAPOLIS––Eddie Lacy is no fool. Even though he hasn't yet stepped on an NFL football field, he can see the situation in Green Bay, the elite quarterback, the explosive offense and know that it's a place he can have success. “I feel as though they wouldn’t just be able to spread the field out," said Lacy on the prospect of joining the Packers. "They’d have to actually have to defend the run as well. If Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback, you’re not going to put nine guys in the box. So it’ll kind of balance out.” Lacy is at the NFL Combine this week auditioning for all 32 teams in the NFL, but as a running back who's considered perhaps the top player at his position and coming off the board late in the first round, speculation is ripe on the Alabama product's potential for landing in Green Bay. "At the running back position I only have one guy in the first round, and that is Eddie Lacy," said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock in a recent conference call. In recent survey of internet mock drafts, only teammate Barrett Jones showed up more times than Lacy as going to the Packers. Like Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson before him, Lacy is looking to become the third consecutive Alabama running to enter the Draft as a junior and be the top running back taken. After sitting behind Ingram and Richardson the previous two seasons, Lacy broke out as a senior rushing for 1,322 yards on 204 carries (6.48 ypc) and 17 touchdowns along with 22 catches and two touchdowns through the air. It was a performance good enough to be named All-SEC. Lacy is known as a power, workhorse back, a quality that he thinks is still needed in a game that's becoming increasingly more pass-oriented. “I know they pass the ball a lot (in the NFL), but at the same time, having a guy who can run the ball a lot benefits your offense," said Lacy. "In short yardage plays, you can’t really throw the ball when it’d be easier to run it. If you have that running back, it’s not a problem.” When looking to see the negatives surrounding Lacy, there's a chicken or the egg debate if he's the product of a dominant offensive line at Alabama or he helped the line look so good. The Crimson Tide has three offensive linemen at the NFL Combine in Jones, Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker. Plus, they've got a couple more still in college that will be playing on Sundays in a matter of time. There's also a the recent injury concern. Lacy reportedly suffered a small tear in the tissue around his hamstring and won't work out at the Combine, although he will at Alabama's pro day on March 13. There's no shortage of questions about the Packers running game either. After having five different players lead the team in rushing for at least one game in 2012, there's no consensus on a starter at the position heading into 2013. James Starks and Alex Green have each carried the load at one time or another for the Packers, but injury concerns have put their status in jeopardy. And both Cedric Benson and Ryan Grant will be unrestricted free agents at the beginning of the new league year. DuJuan Harris surprised in a four-game stint to end the regular season by rushing for 157 yards on 34 carries (4.6 ypc) and two touchdowns, but at 5-9 and 208 lbs., there are concerns about his ability to be a feature back. Perhaps that's where Lacy comes in, as a complement to Harris: Lacy carries the load while Harris could be the change of pace. In any case, Lacy believes he has the diversity in his game to be all things to all people. “Just being able to be a powerful runner, if I need to or an agile runner and make people miss," said Lacy. "With my size, being able to be agile and make people miss, that’s really key.” Whether that comes to fruition with the Packers is yet to be seen. If he's still on the board with the 26th pick, the Packers could have the opportunity to select the first running back in the 2013 Draft class. Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

Comments (21)

redlights's picture

Time will tell about the draft, but I think this is a lot of smoke to divert attention. GB isn't drafting a RB, because they don't run. They don't run because it doesn't work; it doesn't work because they don't try it enough.

Stop checking out of run plays and let the OLine and RB's get in a groove, and use the $$ on other areas.

Jason's picture

Boy were you wrong! LOL! We just drafted who many considered the top two RB's in the draft. Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin

Wiscokid's picture

We need a running game. Too many hits on Rodgers because everyone knows we're going to pass. Sure, the offensive line has a lot to do with that but a legitimate running game could take some of the heat off of #12.

California Cheesehead's picture

The offensive line has a lot to do with Rodgers getting hit AND our inability to run the rock. It doesn't matter who is back there, if there are no holes and the linemen can't penetrate and get to the next level, our running game is a non-factor. Fixing the line opens up all other areas.

Cuphound's picture

Yup. We need a quality O-Line. Even with mediocre RBs, we'd do much better running if there were holes.

Stroh's picture

I think Lacy is a 2nd round RB. He's the best RB in this draft, but I think alot of his success came from the OL that has at least 2 and possibly 3 1st round picks. Same can kinda be said of Montee Ball but he's a late 2nd or early 3rd. I don't think Lacy is that much better than Ball. Wouldn't take Lacy in the 1st and he won't fall till late 2nd. Ball might be a good pick late 2nd, but if we draft a RB, I'm guessing it'll be Michael in the late 3rd.

markinmadison's picture

Michael has some interesting moves, but in terms of height weight he does not represent a real difference from Harris. #12 has already complained that it is difficult locating Harris when looking to dump off. Why draft another guy at 5 ft 8? Lacy stnads out with excellent size at 220 and decent speed, two things you would like to see in a feature back. Hands and blocking also reportedly decent. If he is sitting there at 26 I think TT pulls the trigger.

Stroh's picture

Who cares about height for a RB? Michael is 5'10 220. Thats much more like Ahman Green than it is Dujuan Harris. You should check on your facts. So Michael is 220 and Lacy 230 and from the tape I saw he certainly looked faster. Lacy is a pure power RB, Michael is a power/elusive RB. We'll see for sure at the combine weight in, but those are CBS and they usually have pretty accurate records.

MarkinMadison's picture

Sorry. Mixed Michael up with Geovani Bernard. And #12 cares about height. Lots of guys to learn about right now.

Stroh's picture

Why would Rodgers care what height a RB is? A center I could kinda see, but a RB? He's handed off to Stark at 6'2 and Harris at 5'8 I doubt one is more difficult to hand off to than the other.

cow42's picture

michael is 220+ #'s... big difference.

Rocky70's picture

GB will never see the NFC Championship game again unless they find a running game. Nor will AR start & complete 16 regular season games unless they find a running game.

Rocky70's picture

However, the problem is obvious. Look at the O-Line. APeterson would have trouble behind that mess.

Stroh's picture

Really? Rodgers has started 16 games 3 of his 5 yrs in GB so far and he missed ONE game in the other 2 seasons. Try again.

Lars's picture

Everybody complains about the running game but then doesn't want to draft a decent RB. Christine Michael? How does that make sense? Blame the OLine---Ok some if it's on them. But, then you have injury prone guys like Starks and Green along with has-beens like Grant and Benson.

I like Lacy. But, he's hard to guage because nearly every time he ran was untouched the first 5 yards. Still, he fights for every yard and it usually takes several defenders to bring him down.

It's nice to see some offensive players in the mix as possibilities for a change, instead of/in addition to the reflexive 'Packers need to draft more defense' (every year since Capers arrived) you see in the Green Bay media.

Stroh's picture

Theres a reason the Packers have mostly drafted Defense in the 1st. 1st round picks are almost always the best athletes and you need athletes on D more than on offense. Offense its easier to scheme to put players in a position to be successful, but Defense you need athletic playmakers. The only places I would use 1st round picks on are QB and OT, other than that you can find WR, OG RB, TE in other rounds. On defense, its not unusual to see a player drafted at DL, LB or DB in any round. Used to be that Safeties weren't considered in the 1st, but even thats changed.

Who are better athletes in general?
DL or OL, other than LT almost always DL.
WR or CB, almost always CB, cuz they have to react quicker.

cow42's picture

it makes sense because Michael is a beast.
he's also a head-case and a tool but he's a beast non-the-less.

better than Lacy.
waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy better than Ball.

Lars's picture

A first round RB, a first-round safety reach or yet another likely first-round lineman bust like Sherrod or Harrell or perfect fit for a 4/3 DE forced to play LB? Take your pick. I'll take the RB Lacy or even a TE (Eifert) over the others.

al's picture

i dont see how it stop hits on highest payed player aaron rogers we need protection i guess tt knows what hes doing ?

Point Packer's picture

You can get solid O-line talent in late rounds. That's what Ted will do. Lacey pick was solid. FIrst round talent late in the 2nd. I have a feeling this guy is going to change the Pack's offensive dynamic and force opposing D's to respect our running game, something that hasn't been there since Ahman Green was suiting up for the first time with the Pack.

redlights's picture

Well it looks like TT knows more than me; at least it doesn't bruise my ego.

Lacy after a tradedown in the second is more palatable, so ITWT. Good luck Mr. Lacy. I'd love to see a 1000 yard rusher.

Now it will get interesting with all the picks and possible bundling! I really hope TT moves back up, but fear the salary cap is tinting the view. If thats the case, I can't see Kuhn keeping his present contract; and Harrell better be significantly improved, as well! Easy cap space there.

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