The Green Bay Packers were tired of their inconsistent running game over the last few seasons, so they looked to do something about it with authority in the 2013 NFL draft. General manager Ted Thompson and his staff selected Alabama running back Eddie Lacy in the second round, and went back to the well in the fourth by picking UCLA speedster Johnathan Franklin. Lacy was known to be a power back more than anything for the Crimson Tide – while he did have some second-level speed, his primary attribute was his ability to bull through at the line and gain those tough yards.
Judging from his first preseason in the NFL, and a picture making the rounds on the Internet (Lacy was trending on Twitter on Monday evening as a result), it looked like Lacy had been bulling through some of his teammates at the training table.
The storm started when David Woods (@davidpwoods on Twitter) posted the picture above, of Lacy apparently at an offseason OTA weeks ago on the left, and a Packers.com picture on the right.
The fat Lacy pic is from camp earlier this week. Link to image source is below on my timeline. The skinny pic is from OTAs, I believe.
— David Woods (@davidpwoods) July 29, 2013
To be fair, it is possible the angle of the picture in question just wasn't flattering, because other shots of Lacy don't look quite so bad:
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) July 28, 2013
A day after Lacy's weight was the talk of the Internet, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Lacy was in shape, and did "fine" during his training camp conditioning test.
"If we had any concern about any of the guys, they wouldn't be on the field," McCarthy said, according to NFL.com.
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter Tom Silverstein pointed out that while Lacy looks a little bigger, he was wearing a lower back pad, which didn't help appearances.
At the scouting combine, Lacy weighed in at 231 pounds, which is about the limit for a 5-foot-11 power back with some speed and lateral agility. In June, Lacy showed up for Packers minicamp at 238 pounds, and his coaches didn’t appear to be too concerned.
"Whatever the weight staff and [head coach Mike McCarthy] think his weight should be, that's what we'll get him to,” running backs coach Alex Van Pelt said.
Van Pelt compared Lacy to Steven Jackson, the longtime St. Louis Rams and current Atlanta Falcons power back who has generally played at around 230 pounds. However, Jackson is 6-foot-3, and he has a very special combination of speed and power. Jackson can handle 230 pounds on his frame and get away with it at an NFL level, because he’s always been an absolute freak when it comes to his conditioning.
The pictures released from Green Bay’s training camp revealed a running back in Lacy who … well, doesn’t seem to be in exceptional shape at all. If the idea here is to turn Lacy into Brandon Jacobs, who played at around 260 at his power peak with the New York Giants, one wonders about that. Because it doesn’t appear that Lacy has made much of this weight out of muscle.
Maybe it’s an unflattering angle, but this doesn’t look too good for Lacy’s stock – and it’s yet another reason for people to get on the Johnathan Franklin bandwagon sooner than later.
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