It's hard to replace not only a starter, but a leader, and the most reliable player on his side of the ball. The St. Louis Rams are hoping that they can do this with their running back position as veteran Steven Jackson left for the bright lights and fun nights of Atlanta.
The Rams have mentioned using a running back by committee approach to ease the pain of losing Jackson. The Rams are hoping that returning runners Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead will be able to develop into good backs, but a runner that could be a surprise for the team is rookie Zac Stacy.
The Rams traded up to the latter parts of the 5th round to select Stacy. Which was a smart trade for the Rams, not only because Richardson and Pead would finally have a chance to rest, but because Stacy is a talented running back.
40 time: 4.5
Bench press: 27 reps
Why was Stacy available in the 5th round?
The most obvious answer, is because running backs come a dime a dozen. Which isn't fair to say, so a better answer would be that many teams have moved from drafting backs like Stacy early. Plus he went to Vanderbelt. Maybe if he went to a school like Alabama?
What type of back is Stacy?
Mini scouting report
- A powerful runner
- Pushes the pile
- Tough to bring down
- Smart at picking up blocks
- Makes smart decisive cuts
- Is a patient runner
- Caches the ball in the backfield
- A workhorse back
- Doesn't have much after the initial burst
- Catches with his body
- Quick not fast
- He can make some people miss
- Probably wise to use him when the QB is under center
- Better between the tackles
- Can be brought down if he breaks free
I bring up his speed, but within the first 15 yards, his speed is good enough that no one will think that he's slow. Not many flaws that I've seen in his game. Granted these were only from 3 games and his Shrine game.
What do others think of Stacy?
There's not much on Stacy from the many talking heads, don't even think of looking for a Stacy scouting report. But here's a quote I found from Rob Rang over at Cbssports.com.
At 5-09, 216-pounds, Stacy has a short, squatty build with natural leverage advantage. He runs decisively, with good forward lean and determination. He was clocked at a respectable 4.53-seconds in the 40-yard dash but is quicker than he is fast, demonstrating the ability to make defenders miss to complement his deceptive power. He possesses soft hands out of the backfield and is more polished as a pass blocker than most rookies. Perhaps best of all, he's proven his toughness and talent against elite talent, rushing for back-to-back 1,000 seasons against SEC competition. The Rams thought enough of Stacy to trade their final two picks of the 2013 draft to move up and select him in the fifth.
Also Josh Norris from Rotoworld wrote about Stacy also, here's a quote from him.
I know I just listed a ton of positives and sound (overly?) optimistic about a fifth-round runner, but I am a fan of Stacy’s. He isn’t without his faults, however, namely in the form of long speed and dynamic traits. A team that has added speed and electric ability this offseason could be looking for something that matches that mindset in the backfield. Or, they could see a runner who displays great vision with blocks at the second level, strong cuts thanks to a well-built frame and low center, consistent tackle breaking ability when dealing with first contact, and a willingness to stick his nose in on pass protection. If so, Zac Stacy should be the answer.
http://t.co/cJYuDiHcxu's Corey Chavous, who played at Vanderbilt, thinks Vandy's Zac Stacy is the 4th best RB in draft and 59th best overall— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) April 18, 2013
He just needs a chance... RT @MattWaldman: Good back. Efficient, tackle-breaker. Starting caliber talent. @LegacyArchives Zac Stacy— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) April 2, 2013
Zac Stacy - Watched 3 games of his last week, thought 4th round, can contribute right away and be an eventual starter. Good RB2 as rookie.— Joe Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) December 31, 2012
What role will Stacy have with the Rams?
Stacy will be the power guy for the Rams. Unless the current running backs learn how to pass block better, that will be Stacy's responsibility, so he will probably be the Rams guy when they need a player to block. He will also be used as a short yardage back.
Honestly, he could be used all over, so when the Rams put him in the game opponents won't be able to know if the play will result in a run or pass.
Could Stacy end up the starter for the Rams?
Stacy could eventually be the starting running back of the Rams. Will it be this season? Doubtful, the Rams most likely will continue with their running back by committee approach, like Jeff Fisher had when he was in Tennessee.
Stacy will be an interesting player for the Rams, and he should get a fair amount of touches in his rookie season.
More player evaluations