Pro: Eddie Lacy is a stout, one-cut runner who can be plugged in immediately. While Alabama didn't use Lacy much as a receiver out of the backfield, he possesses good hands. He's learned to take care of the ball and doesn't fumble very often. Lacy will punish defenders that try to take him head on. On short conversions, Lacy will find a way to move the sticks more often than not.
Con: Lacy was not considered a first round talent for the majority of his college career. More than anything, Lacy's emergence as a potential top pick is the product of Marcus Lattimore's severe knee injury and an otherwise weak running back draft class. Unlike most elite prospects, Lacy doesn't have that third gear in the open field to create separation from defenders. Lacy runs with good power, but he'll never be confused for Adrian Peterson in that regard. He struggles in pass protection, which could lead to him being taken out of shotgun packages. He'd instantly become the best runner on the team if Green Bay selects him, but he probably wouldn't be the top back on any other team in the NFC North. There isn't that much that separates Lacy from the next group of running backs, which means taking him in the first would be sacrificing a lot of value.
Verdict: There's no question Lacy would be an upgrade for the Packers. That doesn't mean he's worth a first round pick, however. There are 5 or 6 running backs in this draft that are of comparable quality. At least a few should be available to Green Bay in the second round. While improving the running game should be a priority in this draft, drafting an offensive or defensive lineman could prove to be a better option in the first.
Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is also currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JBHirschhorn.