Lacy had hoped to be the the third Crimson Tide back to be drafted in the first round in as many years, following Mark Ingram in 2011 and Trent Richardson last year. Instead, Lacy fell to the second round to a Packers' team in desperate need of help at running back.
Like his predecessors, Lacy is a powerful inside runner with deceptive speed. Lacy (5-11, 231) averaged 2.5 yards more per carry on runs between the tackles than Richardson did in 2011, according to ESPN Stats and Info. The Browns selected Richardson with the No. 3 overall pick in last year's NFL Draft.
In Alabama's 42-14 win over Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game, Lacy earned Offensive MVP honors after he rushed for 140 yards and scored two touchdowns. Like a bowling ball bouncing off a bumper, Lacy broke tackles with ease on an assortment of spins and counters in the dominating win. In the SEC Championship, Lacy followed his blockers as successfully finishing with a career-high 181 yards against a Georgia defense replete with early-round draft prospects. For the season, Lacy rushed for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Lacy did not work out at the NFL scouting combine in February after suffering a small tear in the tissue surrounding his hamstring. By the time Lacy recovered fully from the injury, he said he only had two weeks to train for Alabama's second Pro Day on April 11. Lacy blamed the lack of training on his subpar 40-time of 4.57 seconds. Still, Lacy considers himself a versatile, multi-faceted back that can pound the ball inside and bounce it to the outside when needed.
"You have guys who are fast and can get around the outside but they can't really get the tough yards,” Lacy told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel before the draft. “Then you have the bigger backs who can get those tough yards, but they're not agile enough to make a defender miss. I'm pretty much as complete as it gets."
The sentiments are echoed by Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com. Rang compares Lacy favorably with Bears running back Michael Bush for their abilities to bowl over defenders, while maintaining surprising fluidity with their feet. Lacy, Rang writes, “runs tough and determined with an angry attitude to finish each run and pick up positive yardage.”
The Packers ranked 22nd in the NFL last year in average yards per carry (3.93).
Keep your eye on everything NFL by following Matt Rybaltowski on Twitter @mattrybaltowski.