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Eddie Lacy: Next Top Power Back

In 2013, Eddie Lacy arrived and immediately gained a reputation as one of the NFL’s toughest and most punishing running backs.

Thus far, Lacy’s talents as a power runner have been overshadowed by Marshawn Lynch, who in 2013 established himself as the league’s quintessential power back.

With “Beast Mode” out of the league, will Lacy fill that void?

Football Outsiders has been tracking “broken tackles” since at least 2009. These include escaping the grasp of a defender and “juking” a defender who is in position to make a tackle. In 2014, Football Outsiders added plays in which the runner drags the tackler at least five yards after contact is made.

For the 2013 season, Lynch topped the list. He was followed by LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, DeMarch Murray and Lacy.

In 2014, Lynch had an overwhelming lead, followed by Le’Veon Bell, Lacy and Murray tied for third, and C.J. Anderson in fifth place.

There are no such stats for 2015 yet.

Most of these power runners aren’t as big and heavy as you might expect.

The listed weights for the above guys are: McCoy (215), Peterson (220), Charles (199), Murray (217), Bell (241) and Anderson (224).

Lynch, amazingly, was listed at only 215 pounds. He once intentionally got up to 230, but didn’t like it, so he dropped back down.

Lacy, generously listed as 5’11”, doesn’t need to weigh 230 or more to be an elite power back.

The common trait among this group seems to be massive thighs, not massive weight. Lacy possesses these — whether he’s at 220, 230, 240,or 250.

Lacy’s ability to break tackles is arguably better when he plays at a lower weight. His patented spin move, for example, was lightning-quick in 2013,
compared to his slow-motion version in 2015.

It might sound counter-intuitive, but if Lacy can play at around 220 pounds in 2016, he will likely take over the broken tackles crown worn for years by Lynch.

Lacy’s top competition might well be another Alabama alum. Alabama power back Mark Ingram (5’9”, 215), drafted in 2011, regularly shows up on the broken tackles lists. And this year Bama’s imposing Derrick Henry (6’3”, 242) should get lots of playing time as a rookie with the Titans.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. PF4L July 23, 2016

    I agree with Rob’s points. I think Lacy plays best between 220-230. Lacy has one skill set, and that is breaking tackles, including his sick spin move that we all love to watch. Lacy isn’t going to outrun anyone. He isn’t going to catch passes out of the backfield and remind you of Matt Forte. But what he can and should do, is gain enough yards on 1st and 2nd down runs to not put the offense in bad 3rd and long situations, which we all remember too well from last season. we were 31st in 1st down run production in the league last season. That has to change.

    I put a lot of the blame on Lacy, but it’s not his alone. The line has to run block better, McCarthy’s play calling has to be a lot less predictable.

    A good portion of that blame (accountability) should also be on the shoulders of the GM and Coaches. Let me explain. It’s no secret that even as a rookie, Lacy would come into camp overweight, then use the camp to “get” in playing shape. Well, it all blew up last year when Lacy came in about 260. McCarthy basically said fuck it, in fact, he gave up making him run extra sprints like he did in previous seasons to get Lacy in shape. He lost control of Lacy and gave up.

    Some players are self motivated as professionals, Lacy isn’t. But…..The Packers knew what they were getting when they drafted him, they know the same things as the scouts do. That he wasn’t 100% committed to football, that he was kind of a free spirit (some call him a boy trapped in a mans body). so the price Lacy paid for all that, was being called out after last season. When maybe, they should have been calling themselves out for not keeping him in check.

    Here’s hoping that Lacy can at least come in to camp 230-235 (realistically). If he performs this season, some team may give Lacy 6-8 million/year with about 10-14 mill/guaranteed. But i don’t think it should be the Packers

  2. MJ July 23, 2016

    Derrick Henry’s (6’3”, 242) are linebacker’s height-weight. And form the images I found, he doesn’t seem to have proportionally heavy legs. So, I wouldn’t expect a great acceleration from him, at least for NFL standards for RBs. It is still a lot of weight to stop if he has aquired speed.
    Ingram is not tall but is massive. His low center of mass has to be a challenge to stop if he gets up to speed.

  3. Nick Perry July 24, 2016

    I’ve been suggesting Lacy loose weight ever since Le’Veon Bell did just that following his rookie season. Bell not only felt better playing 10 to 12 pounds lighter, he was quicker and faster too. If Lacy was to drop down to 225 or 230 he’d still be a load to bring down, he still wear down defenses, he’d just be faster and quicker doing it.