Kevin C. Cox
A nagging hamstring injury keeps running back Eddie Lacy out of Alabama's pro day.
Is there another running back in this draft who can pass Eddie Lacy as this draft's number 1 rusher? Lacy will reportedly miss Alabama's pro-day due to a nagging hamstring injury.
Missing the pro-day might not seem like a huge deal for someone with as good of tape as Lacy, but the two big concerns on him are his straight line speed and whether his tape is skewed by running behind an NFL-caliber line while at Alabama.
That first concern can't be addressed if he isn't running the 40 or doing drills at the Combine or Alabama's pro-day. Lacy is now at a disadvantage to other rushers who have timed 40's. Running backs at the Combine ran slower than most expected, and Lacy could have separated himself more from the pack if he ran a good time. My question is, if Lacy was already viewed as behind the curve in this draft for his straight-line speed, is he slower than the pedestrian times many of the backs put up in Indianapolis?
The other concern about his skills being embellished by the line he ran behind could have been put aside after teams put him through the drills and saw his quickness and fluidity compared to other rushers. Now guys like Giovani Bernard and Joe Randle have the chance to gain some ground on Lacy as the best runners in this class.
At the end of the day though, Lacy's biggest concern should be how many players at other positions pass him by in their performances and pro-days. This league is moving away from running backs, and it wouldn't surprise me if Lacy falls back to the top 10-15 picks of the second round as LB's, DB's and OL keep moving up the boards with excellent workouts.
All this could allow Lacy to be available for the Steelers in the middle of the second, and it would be hard to pass on him, in spite of the Steelers tendering both Redman and Dwyer.