Eddie Lacy works out during organized team activities at Clarke Hinkle Field in Green Bay. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Eddie Lacy shows why the Packers drafted him

Here’s some statistics that raised my eyebrows tonight, but illustrate clearly why the Green Bay Packers drafted Eddie Lacy this past April with the 61st pick of the NFL Draft:

The Packers converted 61.1 percent of their third-and-1 rushes (in 2012), down from 70 percent in 2011 and 2010 and 90 percent in 2009.

The day after rookie running back Lacy was vilified on social media for his size, it was his day to shine – showing everyone who was watching why his value will be seen often in short yardage situations this coming regular season.

“I’ve always been big; I’m a power back,” Lacy said after today’s practice. “I pretty much get the tough yards, and I’m fast enough to get around the outside and make big plays, so I don’t have a problem in that aspect of the game.”

Though it wasn’t a drill where players were tackling to the ground, the Packers ran red zone drills today where Lacy appeared to have scored from 11, 5 and 3 yards. He also turned a three-yard loss into a couple or three-yard gain by utilizing the spin move that was part of his brand while running with national champion Alabama the past couple of seasons.

“Today I feel like it was my best day since I’ve been out here. I was comfortable with everyone, and I feel like I ran smooth and made good reads, and I just hit the hole the way I was supposed to.”

And it couldn’t have come at a better time. While everyone was calling him the Michelin Man yesterday, he had the answer today, illustrating on the field what a power back can mean for a team.

The Packers ranked 20th in the league last year in rushing yards per game and were 22nd in rushing average in 2012. That’s not going to cut it and Ted Thompson knew it. That’s why the Packers not only drafted Lacy, but also brought running back Johnathan Franklin to Titletown through the draft.

While Franklin has been strong in early practices where drills were designed to highlight his skills, Lacy was waiting for his chance to shine in the red zone drills.

What this tells us is that each of these guys have different strengths and will add different dimensions to the Packers run game.

It’s just what they need. Add in the likes of DuJuan Harris, Alex Green, and James Starks and the Packers have the potential to have one of the strongest backfields in all the league. Though it’s unlikely at this point that the Packers keep all five, it’s not out of the realm of reality. Remember a couple of years ago when they kept all those tight ends?

Not only that, but in my opinion, the odd man out come the start of the season could be John Kuuuuuuuuhn.

What do you think about that, Packers fans?

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