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Eddie Lacy doesn’t want first-round running back streak to end

Eddie+Lacy+YufJHOjd6aAm Getty Images

For the last 49 years, there’s been a running back taken in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Based on buzz over the last month or so, it looks like there’s a fair chance of that streak coming to a halt this year. Eddie Lacy of Alabama and Johnathan Franklin of UCLA are regarded as the top two backs in this year’s class, but neither one has solidified himself as a surefire first-round pick in the eyes of the ever-proliferating group of draft pundits.

Lacy’s heard the criticisms his performance at his pro day, telling 790 the Zone in Atlanta, via SportsRadioInterviews.com, that it’s tough to hear people knocking him when he wasn’t 100 percent because of a hamstring injury. He told Mike Garafolo of USA Today that he believes tape from his on-field work at Alabama tells a truer story of his abilities, a story that he hopes includes a chapter about how he kept the streak of first-round running backs going for at least one more year.

“Knowing I could keep it going would be a load off my shoulders,” Lacy said. “It’s good for me, like, ‘Whew, I survived, I made it. Good luck to those next year.”

The drop in perceived value of running backs in the draft and elsewhere in the NFL isn’t a new story, but Garafolo provides some numbers that make it impossible to ignore. In the 1980′s, 48 running backs went in the first round of drafts for an average of 4.8 per year. Things have steadily declined from there and only seven have been taken in the first round of the last three drafts.

Lacy isn’t responsible for the larger trends at running back, but he may be the guy standing between them and a draft affirming the reorganization of priorities across the football world.

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24 Responses to “Eddie Lacy doesn’t want first-round running back streak to end”
  1. jam11163 says: Apr 25, 2013 11:38 AM

    this draft is so weak.

  2. pooflingingmonkey says: Apr 25, 2013 11:38 AM

    Bengals trade down and take him late in the first would be my guess?

  3. twonis says: Apr 25, 2013 11:38 AM

    My intuition tells me Green Bay… even with all this Cedric Benson talk.

  4. seanpbeck says: Apr 25, 2013 11:41 AM

    I’d be surprised if he makes it past Cincy or Pittsburgh in the 1st round. Dude is a beast.

  5. bigbadal21 says: Apr 25, 2013 11:43 AM

    I wonder if he would be just as relieved if Franklin went in the first?

  6. mvp43 says: Apr 25, 2013 11:43 AM

    twonis says:
    Apr 25, 2013 11:38 AM
    My intuition tells me Green Bay… even with all this Cedric Benson talk.

    ————————————-

    You may be right. One thing about Ted Thompson is that if he sees a value at any position, he will jump on it….. even QB

  7. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Apr 25, 2013 11:46 AM

    Johnathan Franklin is considered to be a better back than Le’Veon Bell? That is absolutely insane. I’m not sure what else Bell could have done to make all these “draft experts” have a higher opinion of him. I know from reading interviews with him that he shares my view on this matter and is very confused as to why he isn’t in the first round conversation.
    I will tell you this: He is by far the best all around back in the draft. He can catch passes out of the backfield, he weighs 230 and is a tough, hard nosed runner but he also has the speed to run the ball outside, he’s a good blocker and on top of it all he’s a very high character guy. A lot of teams will regret not taking him.

  8. wludford says: Apr 25, 2013 11:47 AM

    Packers will take him, unless Miami trades up to get him first.

  9. beedubyatoo says: Apr 25, 2013 11:51 AM

    Green Bay won’t take him. Other running backs are available in later rounds. GB has more pressing needs, OL, DL, S. LB.

  10. 81buckeye says: Apr 25, 2013 11:52 AM

    You can put this headline in the “no sh*t” category.

  11. inyofaceagain says: Apr 25, 2013 11:53 AM

    The Packers run game is so horrendous they would be absolutely foolish to not draft Lacy

  12. cmstrick says: Apr 25, 2013 11:54 AM

    I want to see the streak kept alive too, when the Packers take him at #26!

  13. bigdinla says: Apr 25, 2013 12:04 PM

    Leveon bell is TJ Duckett part two. Franklin and all-around back leveon is a slow bruiser. Lacy is head and shoulders the best RB in this draft.

  14. themagicfanguy says: Apr 25, 2013 12:07 PM

    The Packers would be foolish to take him in the first round, they can just wait and get Franklin, Bell, or Ball in the 2nd/3rd round. They will take Cyprien in the first round, and Short in the second round.

  15. m3dman3 says: Apr 25, 2013 12:31 PM

    It shouldn’t end, and not because of him. Montee Ball is the best running back available.

  16. pjrhc says: Apr 25, 2013 12:38 PM

    “I want to see the streak kept alive too, when the Packers take him at #26!”
    EggggZAACKly, @cmstrick.

  17. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Apr 25, 2013 12:47 PM

    Leveon bell is TJ Duckett part two. Franklin and all-around back leveon is a slow bruiser. Lacy is head and shoulders the best RB in this draft.

    Bell is actually considerably faster and more athletic than TJ Duckett was (see highlights of him hurdling db’s from Boise and ND) That being said Duckett had a decent 8-9 year run in the league so I guess there’s a lot worse running backs you could be compared to.

  18. uwsptke says: Apr 25, 2013 12:54 PM

    johnelwayishorsefaced says:
    Apr 25, 2013 11:46 AM
    Johnathan Franklin is considered to be a better back than Le’Veon Bell? That is absolutely insane. I’m not sure what else Bell could have done to make all these “draft experts” have a higher opinion of him. I know from reading interviews with him that he shares my view on this matter and is very confused as to why he isn’t in the first round conversation.
    I will tell you this: He is by far the best all around back in the draft. He can catch passes out of the backfield, he weighs 230 and is a tough, hard nosed runner but he also has the speed to run the ball outside, he’s a good blocker and on top of it all he’s a very high character guy. A lot of teams will regret not taking him.

    ===========================

    I think you are describing Montee Ball, not Bell. Bell wasn’t even the best running back in the Big 10.

  19. wludford says: Apr 25, 2013 12:54 PM

    I see the Packers, and the NFC North, reverting to stereotype in this draft:

    Detroit swings (and misses) on another top 10 pick;
    Chicago drafts an impressive LB;
    The Vikings draft some new People Eaters;
    and the Packers add to their merry-go-round of mediocre RBs and linemen.

  20. chc4 says: Apr 25, 2013 1:15 PM

    Lacy is average as grits. Alot like Mark Ingram… who is a bust.

  21. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Apr 25, 2013 1:36 PM

    I think you are describing Montee Ball, not Bell. Bell wasn’t even the best running back in the Big 10.

    Nope. Not sure if you’re being sarcastic or you really think I’m dumb enough to confuse the two because they have similar last names but I watched all of Bell’s games and most of Ball’s last year and Bell is the superior all-around back out of the two of them.

  22. axespray says: Apr 25, 2013 2:39 PM

    Our defense allowed 45 points and 579 yards.

    A runningback doesn’t stop that…
    We need to trade out of the 1st round, load up on 2nd/3rd round picks – get some guys on the Defense and Oline – then get some runningback.

  23. randallflagg52 says: Apr 25, 2013 5:34 PM

    All this talk of Lacy, Franklin, Bell and Ball is going to make a lot of people look stupid in a year’s time. Giovanni Bernard is by far the best back in the draft, reminds me a lot of Ray Rice with his stocky build, running style, and ability to catch the ball. Whoever get’s him in round 2 (should be round 1) is going to get a huge steal.

  24. joewilliesshnoz says: Apr 25, 2013 5:41 PM

    He’d look good in black and gold, Steeler black and gold.

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