Another pro day for a big draft prospect has come and gone, and yet another prospect has failed to impress scouts.
Eddie Lacy displayed 4.58 and 4.62 times in the 40-yard dash and overall didn’t impress scouts with his work ethic or drill performances. Bucky Brooks of CBS Sports described the performance as being “disappointing” and claimed that Lacy was “out of shape” being unable to “finish” in many drills.
Scouts had attended Alabama’s pro day in the hopes that Lacy would flash sub-4.55 40-yard times–which would have alleviated many scouts’ concerns about Lacy’s explosiveness on the field.
Seemingly disappointing 40 times are the least of Lacy’s worries, as his times aren’t that slow for a runner of his size (5’11” 231 lbs). Instead, worries lie more in his decision making as a runner and the reports of being unprepared for his pro day–which tells scouts and coaches that he doesn’t take conditioning seriously.
Consistently hitting the hole is something that can be taught, work ethic is something that must be developed by a player–and staying in playing shape is tremendously important for a player tagged by scouts as a potential professional workhorse back.
Lacy is a downhill runner who excels at falling forward and fights for extra yards–while holding on to the football and preventing defenders from forcing fumbles. He’s also an adequate pass-catcher and tough to bring down–showcasing both impressive lateral movement and elusive abilities for a player his size.
His junior season made it clear that Lacy is no stranger to a large workload–202 rushes–and an impressive outing versus Notre Dame in the BCS Championship only increased his draft stock.
There is no doubt that Lacy has an impressive skill set and even more impressive game game tape from his final season at Alabama. For some highlights, see the video below.
NFL.com’s Kareem Copeland is under the impression that Lacy’s pro day performance will be forgotten in favor of his game tape. While that may be true in some ways, don’t expect Lacy to escape interviews with teams without hearing questions about conditioning habits and work ethic.
The question now is whether Lacy will end up being a first-round pick. The indication coming from most scouts is that Lacy will only be a top-32 pick if a team is determined to draft the Alabama product and decides to settle for a reach pick late in the first-round.
It wouldn’t be unexpected if the Packers took Lacy at 26th-overall per many pundits–but as for draft stock Lacy is in the same realm as Manti Te’o at this point.
It’s been a long time coming for Eddie Lacy.
The Alabama product got his time in the spotlight in 2012 as the feature runner in the Crimson Tide bruising rushing attack after playing second fiddle to first Mark Ingram in 2010 and Trent Richardson in 2011.
Lacy recently announced he would be holding a workout after missing both the Alabama pro day and the NFL Combine due to a hamstring injury. It’s expected most, if not all, teams will have representatives in attendance to see the predicted top running back make his case for being a first-round pick.
Lacy’s production in 2012 is unquestionable (1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns, including an Offensive MVP in the BCS Championship), even if some claim production in an Alabama offense is often due to scheme and quality offensive line play.
One of the more interesting aspects of Lacy’s workout will be how he performs in the 40-yard dash–a sub-par time could mean he’s instantly removed from a first-round selection. Scouts currently predict Lacy will likely run in the high 4.5 to low 4.6 range.
With comparisons to Jamal Lewis and a clear ability to be an every down runner, Lacy has the potential to crack the top-20 picks if a team truly likes what they see.
For a look at Lacy’s BCS Championship performance, check out the clip below.