Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy may not have been the first running back taken in the 2013 NFL Draft, but he landed in the best spot and should be the first rookie running back taken in 2013 Fantasy Football drafts.
The Packers have one of the most dangerous air attacks in the game but have struggled to move the ball on the ground the past few years. Veteran runner Ryan Grant tailed off and the team’s sixth round pick in 2010, James Starks, has not developed.
Cedric Benson was brought in last year but only lasted a few games before getting hurt. DuJuan Harris and last year’s third round pick Alex Green shared carries the rest of the way but were both unspectacular. It became apparent the Packers needed someone else, and after not singing anyone in free agency, they traded up and targeted Lacy as their guy.
Lacy — who had to wait for his shot much of his career at Alabama behind both Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson — should immediately get a crack as the starter in Green Bay. In his one season as a starter last year Lacy ran for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns and also showed some potential as a receiver with 22 catches for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
At 5-foot-11 and 231 pounds, Lacy is built to be a workhorse and has excellent strength and ability to break tackles. He is a back who runs to contact, so he could unfortunately be affected by the NFL’s new crown-of-the-helmet rule.
He’ll probably compete with Harris out of camp but should ultimately become the starting running back on a great offense and will have plenty of scoring chances. As with every rookie, there are concerns about fumbles and ability to translate his game to the NFL, but in the position he is as a likely starter for the Packers, Lacy can be drafted as an RB3/Flex with tons of upside.