Many have painted rookie running backs Le’Veon Bell and Eddie Lacy with similar strokes. Bell, the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ first-selected back in the 2013 NFL Draft, and Lacy, the University of Alabama national champion selected by the Green Bay Packers, are both admired for their ability to run the ball between the tackles with good balance, the ability to catch the ball and their knack for sticking their nose into a block.
But who will be better for their team during their rookie campaign? That’s the question that was posed by Sports Illustrated on the sports magazine’s Audibles Web page yesterday.
And here’s why: He is slated to be the Steelers’ top back and workhorse. That means he will most likely be their three-down back, he will see a lot of touches and will, therefore, have the opportunity to rack up more mileage than will Lacy.
This is probably true because the Packers are more likely to engage their other rookie running, Johnathan Franklin, in conjunction with Lacy and possibly even DuJuan Harris, Alex Green and maybe even James Starks – depending on how many backs the Packers keep on the 53-man roster. And don’t count out free agent rookie Angelo Pease.
So if one goes off of shear numbers, Bell will most likely have the most touches between the two and the most overall production.
However, I would like to enter into the argument the idea of quality touches.
While Bell may be the workhorse for the Steelers – grinding out the 3- to 4-yard gains between the 20s, I believe Lacy will be used more wisely by Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy. Because he has such a wealth of talent available for his varied offensive scheme, I can see Lacy getting the ball in a variety of situations. In my mind, I see Lacy getting more opportunities in touchdown situations, in third and short situations, and in third and long draw plays where he will find large holes in which to run.
I feel, like Sports Illustrated, that both players are going to be huge additions to their teams, but each will have different values. Both will be productive and Bell may have more yards, but Lacy will, in the end, produce more mileage.
What do you think, Packers Nation? Will they both be successful in the NFL?