Eddie Lacy To The Steelers In The Second Round?

By Jeremy Hritz

In fourth edition of his 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Todd McShay has Eddie Lacy out of Alabama being selected by the St. Louis Rams in the second round, two picks before the Steelers. While the likelihood of Lacy dropping that far is slim, if the Steelers were presented with an opportunity to draft him with their second round pick, would they be likely to do so?

Lacy measures in at 5’11, 231 pounds and is powerfully built. This past season at Alabama, he accounted for 1322 yards and 17 touchdowns, and helped to lead the Crimson Tide to another National Championship. On the big stage in the title game against Notre Dame, Lacy amassed 140 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, and one receiving touchdown, and single-handedly made Manti Te’o drop a full round in this year’s draft. Lacy has proved he is capable of producing on the big stage and against quality competition in the SEC, and he should be able to continue that success in the NFL.

While his production and size are attractive qualities that make him the best running back prospect in this year’s draft, there are multiple concerns that do present some risk, the first being a nagging hamstring injury that caused him to not participate in the NFL Combine and the Pro Day at the University of Alabama. Also, during his college career, he struggled with turf toe, which he ultimately had to have surgery for to repair. Does the hamstring and the turf toe indicate a player with questionable durability and conditioning?

The other element to consider, and while not able to be validated, is his ability to grasp the complexities of NFL offenses, as it is reported that he struggled academically in high school and had a difficult time meeting collegiate qualifications. Whether or not this is true is unknown, but it is an issue that has consistently been raised in draft discussions regarding Lacy.

The last concern regarding Lacy’s game is his deficiency in pass protection, as he has difficulty maintaining his blocks. This is something that will be scrutinized by the Steelers as they value runners that can protect the quarterback.

What is great about the questions surrounding Lacy is that they are all areas that can be improved. Conditioning and understanding an intricate offense can get better through hard work, as can the ability to protect in the passing game. The true questions is whether or not he has the work ethic, commitment, and drive to make these areas strengths.

The bottom line is the Steelers need a running back in this year’s draft, and they are not going to select one with their first round selection. If Lacy is there for the Steelers in the second round, or even if he is in trading distance as Mike Mayock believes, the Steelers could draft him. However, the reality is most likely that Lacy will be off the board late first round or early on in the second, and the Steelers will have to make other plans.

  • steeltown

    Lacy should be gone late 1st Rd, if he falls out of the 1st he’ll get selected very early in the 2nd Rd
    Also, turf toe in college early in the career is not a good sign

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I’m always going to worry about a back that produces in college behind an NFL line.

  • Everything Steelers

    Wonder if the new helmet rule might affect drafting someone like a power runner…its good for short yardage, but after the 3 yards power runners that have been taught their whole football life to lower your head and run into people..cant do that anymore….i was watching the nfl networks 100 best plays of last year…and the runs by Adrian P, would have been flagged…because near the end of the runs he lowered his helmet right onto the cornerback…thats going to be a hard call to make for the zebras

  • Clint Martin

    Facing Notre Dame in the Championship was a joke. I knew going into that game Alabama played way better Defense’s than Dame’s. They are Over rated that game goes to show just because you go undefeated doesn’t mean you can hang with the best.
    Alabama has a good O-line But hardly all pro. Lacy takes that and show’s he is still breaking tackles for more yardage he can read a block! Mendy never could.

  • redneckmuslim

    I have been living in Alabama for several years and you have to watch SEC football to survive down here. So I have seen a lot of Eddie Lacy and he would be incredible value in the second round. I actually think he would be good value in the middle of the first.

    He is both powerful and fast, but more important he has very quick feet that never stop moving. His nickname is “circle button” because of his crazy spin moves. He does not typically go down on first contact.

    I really don’t understand why he is getting less attention than Ingram or Richardson who preceded him. I guess it must be the injury worries. He is just as good as those two in my opinion. His yards per carry over his college career is a full yard more than Ingram and Richardson. In fact, at 6.8 YPC, he is in the top 20 over the last 40 years. He shows up in the big games and he is by all accounts a great kid off the field.

  • steeltown

    I agree.. good value in the 2nd Rd

  • steeltown

    The rule is ridiculous.. so much grey area involved.. literally 3/4 of the runs in the NFL could be deemed as penalties with this new rule

  • mokhkw

    & with the way they get the Helmet contact rule so wrong at times I’m expecting this to be a nightmare…….

  • Jollyrob68

    I have a feeling he’ll be there in rd 2 because of everything you’ve mentioned. I think the Steelers have their eye on a few others.

  • Bleh!

  • Jollyrob68

    I’m all for the Steelers trading back with 49ers for 1,2,4,5 or two 2nds & a 3rd. Then they can grab who ever falls in the draft. Wr,Rb,Te,Lb,Safety

  • David Edward

    For starters, Richardson was a legit first round pick in that he ran a sub 4.5 @ 230lbs. Ingram was a reach by the Saints as he ran in the 4.6s @ 215…and that shows by his lack of production at the NFL level. Lacy is somewhere in between with Richardson size but closer to Ingram speed. To me, that puts him as a top of the 2nd type pick…maybe late first at best. He would be a reach @ 17. I’d take him @48, but he’s not much different than what the Steelers already have.

  • dgh57

    How about RB Montee Ball of Wisconsin? He seems to me a good fit for this new zone blocking scheme we are moving to. From the reports I’ve seen he has good vision and can find the cut back lanes and is patient behind blockers!

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Ummmm trade with 49ers in first and take him at 31. . . pick up an extra pick in process! Lacy will not fall that far into second!

  • dgh57

    I would do that only if the 49ers gave up their 2nd rd. pick they got from Kansas City! I doubt the 49ers would be willing to do that. But that would be my asking price if they expect us to move from 17th pick to 31 pick! That would I believe give us the 31, 33, and 48th pick!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    agreed eric

  • Shannon Stephenson

    You realize they have 3 guys most likely going in the first 2 rounds of this draft from their OL