NFL Draft: Packers trade down, select Eddie Lacy, then trade down again
The Packers entered day two of the NFL Draft with one pick in both the second and third rounds followed by five more picks on Saturday. They left day two with a lot more than that.
First Green Bay traded down six spots with San Francisco and picked up an additional sixth round pick in the process. As the names were being called in the second round the lack of running backs selected set up a situation where general manager Ted Thompson could roll the dice. Knowing both Eddie Lacy and Montee Ball were still available and with running back not a high priority among the teams picking at the bottom of the round Thompson pulled the trigger. Ball was selected by Denver but the gamble paid off with Lacy still there at pick number 61.
My take on Lacy: I felt he wasn't a solid first round pick but could end up being a steal in the late second round. There were a few concerns coming into the draft with him. First, he required foot surgery in 2012 then dealt with a nagging hamstring injury this spring. If he can stay healthy he should be productive but of course that's the big risk. Can he stay healthy? There was enough of a red flag there that teams stayed away for almost two rounds. Second, coming from talent-rich Alabama the question was did Lacy simply benefit from having so many NFL-ready guys around him? We saw two Alabama offensive linemen selected in the first round. No NFL team has the pure advantage Alabama's offensive line has over every team in college football. So is Lacy just a product of the system? However, former Tide running backs Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson have had various degrees of success in the NFL.
Could Lacy be next? Well, I don't think it was worth a first round gamble but for a late second round pick Lacy provides value. He comes into a situation where he doesn't need to be a three down back and by getting up an extra pick in the process the Packers have a much greater margin of error. If neither the foot nor the hamstring cause problems then Lacy should provide a physical dimension to the backfield that has been missing, most notably in tough yardage situations. And to be sure Lacy is a good back. He was widely considered to be the best back in this year's class. I don't think he's on the same level as Richardson but in a two-headed backfield Lacy can be dangerous. So considering where he was picked the Packers look good here.
Then we get to the third round and Trader Ted Thompson got to work re-establishing his reputation. The Packers again traded down with San Francisco, moving back five spots from pick number 88 while picking up the 49ers seventh round pick.
Now with pick number 93 the Packers made a trade with Miami, moving out of the 3rd round entirely while getting the Dolphins 4th, 5th and 7th round picks. So the Packers didn't pick in the third round but in the process Green Bay now has ten, count 'em, ten picks on day three.
Here's where the Packers pick on Saturday: in the fourth round they have picks number 109 and 122. In the fifth round they own picks number 146, 159 and 167. In the sixth round the Packers hold picks number 173 and 193. Finally in the seventh round Green Bay owns pick number 216, 224 and 232.
Whether the Packers hold all those picks or trade into the 2014 draft remains to be seen. Either way, day three will be a busy one in Green Bay.