On Thursday, Eddie Lacy, the former Alabama star tailback, was working to make sure that NFL scouts had their minds made up about Lacy’s potential.
Lacy rushed 204 times for 1,322 yards (6.5 average) and 17 touchdowns and was the Most Outstanding Offensive Player in the BCS National Championship Game, when he ran 20 times for 140 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes, one for a TD, in the Crimson Tide’s 42-14 win over Notre Dame.
That’s why he has been projected as a likely first round draft choice and is expected to be the first running back selected when the NFL has its draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York April 25-27.
Alabama held its second Pro Day of 2013 on Thursday with nine draft-eligible Crimson Tide players participating and roughly 20 NFL teams in attendance. Among the pro coaches on hand was Sylvester Croom, former Tide star and assistant coach and former Mississippi State head coach who is now running backs coach for the Tennessee Titans.
Thursday’s workout gave Eddie Lacy, Damion Square, and Nico Johnson a final chance to work out on campus and demonstrate their skills for NFL coaches and scouts after injuries kept them out of the Tide’s first Pro Day on March 13.
“I feel like my 40 time was the most important thing they wanted to see,” Lacy said. ““They wanted to see if I could catch, if I was a good (receiver), and I think I proved that today.”
Lacy’s times in the 40-yard dash ranged from 4.57-4.63 while posting a broad jump of 9 feet, 7 inches and a vertical of 33.5 inches. He missed the first Alabama Pro Day after injuring a hamstring in preparation for the NFL Combine. He said that he was a little tentative in his 40-yard dash test after having injured his hamstring while working out following the BCS National Championship Game.
Players started the day in the weight room where their weight, height, standing broad jump, vertical jump and bench press were checked. After finishing in the weight room they moved to the indoor football facility where they completed the 40-yard dash, agility testing and position-specific drills.
The nine Alabama players that participated in some part of the Tide’s second Pro Day on Thursday include, Lacy, Square, Nico Johnson, D.J. Fluker, Michael Williams, Kelly Johnson, Carson Tinker, Robert Lester and Ranzell Watkins
Lacy said, “Everybody wants to go in the first round, but you don’t get to pick where you get picked. When you get your chance, you’ve got to go out and show them. If you’re not picked in the first round, you have to show them you are a first round talent.”
Lacy said coming from Alabama is an advantage. “Coming from a great program like this, everyone who comes out is going to be first round or second round and mostly first round,” he said. “It’s the way we practice, the way we prepare. Everybody in the NFL knows when you come out of Alabama, they are going to get somebody who is playing an NFL-type style. Coming from here, they know they’re going to get a good player.”
The first running backs taken in the last two NFL drafts have come from Alabama, Mark Ingram who plays at New Orleans and Trent Richardson who is at Cleveland.
Lacy originally was not going to New York for the draft because of his dislike of big crowds. But he thought it over and decided, “It’s not every day you get to go to a draft in New York. I was given a chance to go and I took it. It means a lot. My parents are happy about it.”