Alabama running back Eddie Lacy, projected by many to go in the first round after dominating the BCS Championship Game in January, almost fell out of the second round. The Green Bay Packers saved him from that embarrassment.
Lacy wasn't the first running back selected, as expected. Or even the second or third back. But when the Packers took him with the 61st overall pick, he landed in an interesting situation on an offense that is very good but hasn't had a decent option at running back in years.
Lacy's fall really started when North Carolina's Giovani Bernard was the first running back chosen, after no running back was taken in the first round for the first time since 1963. The Bengals took him with the 37th pick, and his versatility as a pass catcher and ability to bounce a run outside should work well with the plodding BenJarvus Green-Ellis. All of a sudden the Bengals have a very interesting offense. They took tight end Tyler Eifert in the first round.
The Steelers were the next team to take a running back, and Lacy seemed like a perfect fit as a bruising between-the-tackles runner. Pittsburgh took a physical back, but it was Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell. Bell is pretty agile and athletic for a 230-pound back, and it started to make sense why Lacy was sliding.
Lacy had a disappointing offseason. A hamstring injury bothered him. His 40-yard dash time at Alabama's pro day was about 4.6 seconds. He didn't do great in the short shuttle, vertical jump or broad jump either, so there had to be questions about his explosiveness. There also had to be questions about how much he was helped running behind one of the best offensive lines in college football history last year. Fellow Alabama back Mark Ingram's struggles in New Orleans might not have helped either.
Denver then took Wisconsin's Montee Ball, the productive back who set a FBS career record for touchdowns but also had a concerning 924 career carries in college.
Green Bay stepped up and took Lacy. The Packers incredibly haven't had a 100-yard rusher in a regular-season game since Week 5 of the 2010 season, when the forgettable Brandon Jackson did it. That's a 43-game drought, the longest in the NFL.
Lacy will have a chance to break that streak. He waited a while, but ended up in a pretty solid situation. Green Bay got a pretty good value late in the second round, as well.
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