Thoughts on Eddie Lacy’s work out & stock

April 11th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Eddie Lacy ended the season on fire. He ran all over Georgia, he ran all over Notre Dame. For his size, he showed adequate burst. He has a patented spin move which he uses a lot (but it’s still effective) and he has a little beast mode to his running style.

In many ways he looks like a first round pick. Alabama has had a first round running back in each of the last two drafts. Lacy could make it a hat-trick. He won’t fit every everyone’s ideal as a first rounder, but teams like St. Louis that need a physical runner could consider him as a possible impact player.

Today he finally worked out for scouts, running in the 4.59-4.62 range. He was never a big speed guy so that’s no shock. It’s a good enough time. Reports suggest he also ran a lot of passing drills to try and convince scouts he isn’t a one-dimensional bulldozer. Personally, I think he’s good enough as a one-dimensional player to still succeed on talent alone.

Then there’s the issues.

Lacy didn’t feature at the combine and concerns over a hamstring injury still linger. But what’s probably more concerning is his attitude. In Indianapolis he admitted in his media conference that he’d allowed himself to gain weight and hadn’t worked hard enough during the off-season. According to some observers, his conditioning remains an issue:

This is only one man’s opinion, but the views expressed here by Bucky Brooks fit in with a person who admitted to gaining ‘bad’ weight during the most important off-season of his life. Lacy might’ve been able to rock up to the ‘Bama games, run behind Chance Warmack, D.J. Fluker and the rest of a star studded offensive line and produce 17 touchdowns and 1322 yards. In the NFL, that won’t be so easy.

While he played with great physicality in college, he needs to be completely dedicated at the next level. Despite a few off-the-field problems for Marshawn Lynch during his career, I don’t think anyone would doubt how much the guy wants to succeed. He doesn’t appear to need to be constantly pushed. Will Lacy need to be pushed? Especially if he earns a first round salary?

Players like this are very frustrating. Injuries, you can’t account for sometimes. But attitude and being dedicated to your craft are different matters completely. You shouldn’t have to push these guys. And that doesn’t mean everyone has to march into the complex at 6am like Russell Wilson. Just look after yourself, especially when your draft day is just around the corner. Don’t have any regrets.

On talent alone I could see Lacy going in round one. He’d be a player to fear if he’s running for the St. Louis Rams and Jeff Fisher. That wouldn’t be fun. Yet he’s another classic example of just how wide open this draft it. He could go #22 to the Rams. And I’d be equally unsurprised if he lasted deep into the second round. The good news is we’re only a fortnight away from finding out.

37 Responses to “Thoughts on Eddie Lacy’s work out & stock”

  1. Sam Jaffe says:

    Rob. Good points all. RB is such a perishable position that the slightest lack of motivation will cause any coach to call for the next guy up. I would say that his floor is way too low even for a 2nd round pick. Not to change the subject, but I’m really interested in your thoughts on Reid Fragel. On the surface he seems destined to be a RT in the NFL, but maybe there’s enough natural athleticism to eventually make the shift to LT, which makes his value much higher. The fact that he played RT at Ohio State is of course a bad sign, but it wouldn’t have made sense for him to have played LT, since he was switching from TE last year. Do you see the athleticism on film that might allow him to be a blind side protector in the NFL? And do you see his arm length a limiting factor for either Tackle position?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Fragel is a player I intend to watch in the next two weeks. There are two games for me to watch vs MSU and Illinois.

      • Sam Jaffe says:

        I looked at the Wisconsin and Michigan compilations and was pretty impressed. The thing that stunned me was that he was a better pass protector than run blocker. Maybe that’s what should be expected from a converted TE. But when he adds weight and learns the fine art of run blocking, he could be very good. Good like Lane Johnson good. In addition, I think Cable will like him because he doesn’t have a lifetime of power scheme coaching that he’ll have to erase in order to buy into the ZBS scheme that Seattle plays. He also got a lot of practice learning how to block for a Tarkentonian QB, and by the end of the year (the Michigan game) he was pretty good at picking up blockers long after the whistle is normally called. His attempts at cut blocking were laughable, but I don’t think there are any college OT’s that can boast of their skill in cut blocking.

  2. Attyla the Hawk says:

    I’d have to think he drops hard. He pretty much could be compared to a Chris Wells, but with laziness issues.

    This wasn’t a guy who was ridiculously dominant or possessing outstanding measurables and talents. His value is going to be as a workhorse, effort style runner. As Marshawn noted, you can’t ‘get’ beast mode. It’s inside of you. He needs to be doing it harder and more violently than pretty much every other back in this draft.

    He doesn’t have shiftiness. Or speed. Or great receiving skills. His stock in trade needs to be toughness, grit and want to.

    I could see a fall to late third round at this point. He would have already had to have surmounted the Mark Ingram taint as an Alabama feature back that feasted on it’s OL quality. And for Lacy, doubly so as that OL is just stacked with NFL quality talent at every position.

    • Colin says:

      I doubt it. Someone is going to look at him sledgehammering his way through Georgia and ND and decide that’s a guy they need. Maybe not in the first but I can’t see him falling past the 2nd.

      I do think Fisher would be foolish to take him in the first. You don’t need a 1st round pick RB to have a good run game. I think they’d be better suited taking a lineman and a WR. Not sure how much longer they can go without investing some stock into their WR. Bradford looks average enough already.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        A bit off topic Colin, but since you brought it up…

        STL most likely will take a WR early, but I think they kinda have to go defense with at least one of their R1 picks. They’ve got a couple glaring holes at S and OLB that need filling. Their acquisition of Long in FA should go a long way (pun intended) to helping keep Bradford off the turf. Even so, I suppose if either Cooper or Warmack are still available at 16 they might pull the trigger on one or t’other, as the depth at WR in this draft could allow them to address the OLine and D needs in the 1st.

        • Colin says:

          I’m not sure OLB is a 1st round spot for them. Maybe, but if they have a shot to grab a WR and S or maybe G and WR, they’d be doing themselves good. Fisher was visibly upset last year to miss out on Floyd and Blackmon.

  3. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Frustrating is as good a descriptor for Lacey as any I’ve heard Rob. Clearly he has talent – notwithstanding his amazing OLine, he had 2 extremely impressive performances at the end of last season (his BCS bowl game was as impressive as Te’o’s was disappointing), with many of his runs going well into the secondary as he powered over, through and around many a defender. But his utter lack of performance, and the lack of work ethic it reveals, since then is deeply troubling. Makes one wonder if he’d have any fire in his belly once he cashes his first NFL paycheck.

    Still, I wouldn’t want to see him in a Ram or Niner uniform, because if that fire does get lit…

  4. bobk3333 says:

    If a running back is from a powerhouse school like Alabama, I grade them down. Same, but to a slightly lesser extent, for quarterbacks.

    They won’t get that kind of blocking in the NFL. Their running styles and (bad) habits are formed when they are getting ridiculously huge holes to run through. The powerhouse schools, of course, get the best athletes, but those athletes don’t develop as well if they operate behind huge, talented offensive lines.

    Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, both from Alabama, average 3.6 and 3.9 yds per carry, versus for example, an Alfred Morris who averaged 4.8 yds per carry. They certainly aren’t terrible, but they aren’t as good as everyone thought or hoped they would be.

    .

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      So by inference, Adrian Peterson and Demarco Murray should have been downgraded for playing for Oklahoma?

      It’s too simplistic to simply apply a blanket bias on someone based on the talent around them. You need to judge each on a case by case basis. Certainly, I’d never just rest on a players stats coming from a school with talent.

      I don’t think for a second that Alfred Morris is better than Trent Richardson. QBs have a huge impact on how teams play your offense. Morris benefited from having teams scheme for Griffin almost exclusively. Richardson never enjoyed that kind of advantage.

      • Nolan says:

        Plus Washington is run by mike shannahan who has the mutual touch for RB and Trent Richardson played for the browns and was really there biggest offensive threat. The browns were bad and often playing from behind which isn’t conducive to running the ball. I do get what your saying though that a good college team can mask the deficiencies in players but big time schools also produce great players as well.

      • Michael says:

        Agreed. It must be a case by case basis. Otherwise, you end up punishing the big school backs for having too much talent around them, while at the same time, knocking the smaller school guys for the lower level of competion. I guess this is why NFL talent evaluators watch tape…

        • peter says:

          Case by case is fine…..here goes, Lacy, Richardson, Ingram, all played for great teams…does that mean they were helped as RB’s…Maybe.

          But if we are going to do the whole Adrian Peterson thing, every time we talk about talented RB’s, you need to go back and do a little research on exactly how utterly dominate he was vs. the current crop of Alabama RB’s. plus 1900 yards as a FRESHMEN. Lacy could end up being an all time great (doubt it) but his situation behind an the Powerhouse of Alabama and AP’s dominance behind then powerhouse Oklahoma are apples to microwaves.

          If by comparison you want to see how someone can shine behind good-greatness, but not supreme dominance one needs to only look back to Shaun Alexander, a former Crimson tide RB who played for so-so teams and yet still proved in flashes and in one season of good to great play.

    • Maz says:

      Think you just pointed out the value issue, that GM’s face when choosing a RB in the first round. It’s likely there will be another guy who will equal production, in a later round.

  5. bobk3333 says:

    Marcus Lattimore if he gets healthy – and the odds of that are excellent – will be a much better back than Lacy. As far as natural talent, Lattimore is the best running back coming out of college in several years, maybe since Adrian Peterson. Unlike Lacy, Lattimore has an amazing work ethic and attitude.

    ACL surgery and rehabilitation is significantly better than it was ten or even five years ago. It usually takes top athletes about 9 months until they start practicing, and 10 or 11 months before they play. Lattimore got hurt the end of October and had surgery the beginning of November. He looked fantastic in his pro day and is way ahead of schedule. Even under average recovery times, he would start practicing at the beginning of August and playing at the beginning of September or October.

    Lattimore could play the entire season and unless something goes drastically wrong, he would certainly play at least three quarters of the season and the playoffs.

    I would not be surprised to see Lattimore go in the 2nd round to New England or more likely to the 49ers, who have a lot of draft picks. Lattimore would be the perfect replacement for Frank Gore. Like Colin Kaepernick, he could be a difference maker for the 49ers at the end of the season.

    What are the chances of a player chosen in the 2nd or 3rd rounds becoming a star player? Not very good at all; significantly less — maybe half as likely — than the chance of Marcus Lattimore recovering from his knee injury and becoming a star player. Again, if he recovers (and the odds are greatly in favor of that) Lattimore would be available for much if not all of the 2013 season.

    .

  6. bobk3333 says:

    Speaking of weight problems, I wonder how Mike Williams is doing with his weight?

    Weight has always been the *only* problem Williams has ever had, including last year, when he came in fatter than ever before.

    If he loses the weight, Mike Williams, at 29 years old, could still be a better than average starting receiver in the NFL. He might be a reasonable facsimile of a receiving-oriented TE, except he would be a much better receiver than any of them.

    .

  7. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Speaking of frustrating players and shifting stock values, and digging up a bone of contention we’d all thought long buried, I just read that Tyrann Mathieu has interviews/workouts scheduled with 10 NFL teams, of which SEA is one. He’s reportedly already visited 6 of them (though I can only find 5 named – NE, SF, ARI, MIN, TB) and he is scheduled to meet with CIN, HOU, ARI (again) and SEA in the near future.

    Apparently he’s taking it all very seriously, from dressing properly (suit and tie) to speaking candidly about his cannabis problems. Also, earlier today on ESPN’s College Football Live, LSU HC Les Miles was asked directly whether he would draft Mathieu and if he thought Mathieu would be successful in the NFL. Miles didn’t hesitate in answering yes to both. He even said that Mathieu could be a first year starter.

    On the subject of nickle/slot CBs, I’m all for adding Antoine Winfield to the roster. I think he’d be a fantastic acquisition and a major asset to our secondary. Plus, his presence/leadership would be of tremendous benefit to the team’s younger corners. I also think that if SEA does sign Winfield, it doesn’t mean JSPC isn’t interested in drafting Mathieu, as Winfield could be a great mentor and influence for him, and given Mathieu’s high versatility as a DB and special teams player.

    • Colin says:

      Eric, with all due respect, Miles was going to endorse whomever he was asked about on college football live. Could you see a coach badmouthing one of his former players on television? It’s posturing. Jon Gruden does the same thing about his QB prospects, he loves them all, he thinks the world of them, blah blah blah. It really doesn’t mean a damn thing.

      Mathieu was booted off by Les Miles. From LSU. That certainly takes a fair amount of issues and frustration to make happen. He even admitted on NFL network he’s had trouble staying off Marijuana.

      That and for me, Mathieu isn’t the great corner so many people claim him to be. He’ll give up some big plays for every big play he makes.

      No thanks. UDFA. Nothing more.

      • Hawkfin says:

        I agree completely with you Colin…. I want no part of him. Mathieu is off my draft board all together. :)
        There are a TON of good quality corners out there and very deep. No need to take him.
        I was not impressed with the tape, size, stats, and then add in all the red flags too.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Responding to both Colin and Hawkfin, I get that you guys don’t like him – you don’t think he’s that good of a CB, there are other corners in the draft you like better, he has big off field red flags (well, really only one – cannabis, but it caused him some really big problems). For those reasons you guys would pass on him. And you aren’t the only ones who feel that way. I’m pretty sure Rob is right there with you.

        But if you’ll allow me the observation, drafting Mathieu to be another CB would be thinking INSIDE the box where he’s concerned. He’s not an every down CB. Heck, he’s not necessarily even an every nickle package CB, and if that’s the intention in drafting him, I agree it would be a wasted pick. Rather, he’s purely a luxury selection. A specialist who does one thing as well as (or better than) just about anyone else – actually he does 2 things at that level: he’s a pass rushing, QB sacking, fumble causing, ball hawking nickle back, AND an excellent PR (in 2011 he was ranked #2 in the NCAA for both PR TDs and yards per return).

        In just 2 years (as a mere freshman and sophomore at that), he had 16 tackles for loss (16 TFL from a CB!), 6 of which were sacks. He also had 11 forced fumbles, 6 fumble recoveries (2 of which he returned for TDs), 4 INTs, and he had 2 TDs as a PR. Take away his cannabis issue (and the problems it caused him at LSU) and he’s a high R1 pick in any of the last 3 drafts. Plus, don’t forget he was a Heisman finalist in 2011 as both a sophomore and a defensive player.

        In the end it doesn’t matter that you don’t like him or that I do. Some team is going to take a flyer on him, that much is guaranteed. Depending on which team and how they use him, it’s likely we’ll be wishing it was SEA (if it turns out not to be us). My point with him, which I should’ve explained in my original comment, is to think OUTSIDE the box. With 10 picks in the draft, not only can SEA afford to make at least 1 luxury pick, they should be looking to do that. There’s no way all 10 picks are going to make the team, let alone make an impact on the field. It makes good sense to think outside the box and take an unorthodox, highly specialized role player who can come in and be effective on specific plays, in Mathieu’s case to end an opponent’s drive, or even better cause a turnover.

        Also, with respect to Les Miles and his endorsement of Mathieu. I understand your point Colin that he wouldn’t trash talk a former player on national tv. But I think Miles’ conformation of Mathieu went pretty far beyond a perfunctory endorsement (in comparison, the “endorsement” that Da’rick Rogers got from his coaches at Tenn Tech was perfunctory in the extreme). Miles flat out said he would draft Mathieu. He could have said many things that could be interpreted as some sort of endorsement without trashing Mathieu. But he didn’t. He was rather unequivocal in his recommendation.

        • Hawkfin says:

          Appreciate the write up, and some solid points. I agree, that at some point he may become of value. I still probably would look elsewhere though. But, I’ve seen him typically going round 3 with talk of round 2. Or maybe he falls to round 4.

          I don’t think you spend anything 4th or better on this type pick. Especially when there are “true CB’s” out there that are much more polished and bigger and less red flags. To me, he’s more of a college kid then a pro. Outside of him making splash plays on blitzing, I just don’t see a good overall game.
          If you tell me we get him in the 5th or later – Then I would agree more with your points.
          But, to spend a 2nd or 3rd on him would be a mistake IMO.

          How often do we even blitz a CB? I never see it myself. We need a true nickle CB or even a replacment for Browner.

          I’m pretty sure I wont be wishing he was on our team at all. We already have a solid punt and kick return game with Harvin/Tate also.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            Thanks for your reply Hawkfin. I sure do enjoy these debates. And I think we have some common ground on this issue in that I too wouldn’t spend anything higher than a R4 pick on him. And even then it depends on who we got in R2/R3, and who else is still on the board. I probably would take him in R5 regardless of anything else, but I doubt he’ll last that long.

            I also agree that we need a true nickle CB, which is why I’m sincerely hoping Winfield joins the team. Even at 35, I think he’s superior in that role to any prospect in the draft, perhaps beyond the 2013 season because it’s a more limited role and the fewer snaps could increase his longevity. Plus his experience and mentoring value is unequaled.

            Having said that, there are some situations where blitzing a CB, especially one as capable at getting to the QB as Mathieu, would really mess with an opponent. And with our other very capable CBs holding down the secondary, it wouldn’t be as risky of a move as one might think.

            One final thought: I know Harvin is an excellent returner. But I just cringe at putting such a valuable offensive weapon in harm’s way like that if there is another, perhaps equally effective option. I’m not sure Tate is that guy (though he has the physical skill set to be).

            Anyway, thanks again for the discourse :)

            • Colin says:

              I posted this below, but i’ll link it again. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/04/12/report-mathieu-told-nfl-coaches-he-failed-more-than-10-drug-tests/

              IDK. If the Hawks end up taking a chance on him, I’ll support it, but I’d be very hesitant to spend good draft stock on a guy like him.

            • Hawkfin says:

              It was my pleasure. I always enjoy a good Hawk chat.
              Sounds like we are on the same page for the most part. Although the more info I gather, the more I don’t want him at all still.

              Tate is a good punt returner and can do it well.

              I get your point about Harvin. That is kind of scary to have your main WR doing returns. But, he’s real special doing it, plus in our offense he could be limited offensivley with all our weapons/running game. So getting him some extra touches to bust lose is a good thing.
              I’m sure we can find somebody else also. Any rookie WR we draft, could maybe fill that role or some other CB.

              Enjoyed the conversation like always,
              GO HAWKS!

  8. Stuart says:

    Lacy, pass.

    • Hawkfin says:

      I think Lacy is going to make most everybody here pretty wrong. But, that’s just my view.
      I like Lacy a lot! I hope he’s not in our div.

      I still think he will be a first round pick too. We’ll see.

      I don’t think we need him anyway though. We have a good #2.

  9. williambryan says:

    But its been reported that LSU (it’s coaches, presumably) has had no problems warning teams about DE Montgomery, and he was never kicked off the team. Maybe Miles truly thinks Mathieu will be a good/great pick for a team and by kicking him off the team, he was doing his duty as a coach to send the message to Mathieu the person, not the player?

  10. Anthony says:

    Haven’t seen this mentioned in this post – Lacy will apparently be attending the draft.