Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Week 15 Rookie Report: Lacy and Stacy's Big Days, More Rookie Cornerbacks Struggle

A couple of rhyming rookie running backs and unheralded tight ends highlight the offensive side of Week 15’s Rookie Report, while a couple of Day 2 cornerbacks struggled with increase playing time on defense. Strong performances are very important for rookies at this time of the year, whether their team is heading for the playoffs or the top five in next May’s draft. Chris Tripodi will break down what he saw from select first-year players this week and how their performances may affect their evaluation heading into the offseason.

Eddie Lacy (RB-GB)

The top running back on Draft Insider’s board before April’s draft, Lacy has been the top rookie runner at the NFL level so far this season. As the only first-year back over 1,000 yards through 15 weeks, Lacy has proven his skills as a runner weren’t just a product of a dominant offensive line at Alabama. A great combination of patience, burst and power has made Lacy effective even with opposing defenses focusing on stopping him with Aaron Rodgers out of the lineup.

Lacy had five runs of 10-plus yards against a Cowboys defense that hasn’t stopped anybody of late, finishing with 141 rushing yards on 21 carries. His 60-yard run on the first play of the third quarter gave Green Bay momentum after being down 26-3 at the half. Lacy showed enough speed through the hole to get beyond the second level but his lack of breakaway speed led to him being caught from behind before he reached the end zone. Lacy’s other big runs were similar as he waited for his blocks to develop before planting and exploding through the hole, running violently enough to carry tacklers while showing enough agility to make a second quick cut for a few extra yards.

Lacy did have a bad drop early on a 3rd-and-1 pass that could have picked up a first down and had a few big losses, which were more a product of his line allowing quick penetration that he couldn’t avoid in the backfield. He did get Matt Flynn knocked down once but that was the first time all season he allowed his quarterback to get hit as Lacy has played well in all facets, pass blocking included. As long as he can stay healthy at the NFL level with his hard-charging style, Lacy should give Green Bay the multi-faceted offense they’ve been lacking in recent seasons.

Read the rest at Draft Insider

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