clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Zac Stacy is PFF's Rams Secret Superstar

New, comments

Out of all the players on the roster, last year's 5th round rookie is the Rams' secret superstar.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams knew it wouldn't be easy replacing their former franchise running back Steven Jackson. The Rams also knew it wouldn't be a one running back job, so even though they had Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson on the roster already, they had to draft another running back in the 2013 NFL Draft. It ended up being 5th round draft pick Zac Stacy.

The Vanderbilt running back wasn't handed the starting spot. Stacy was nicked up early in the season, and the one day Stacy was healthy enough, the Rams' the running game wasn't productive, so they gave him a shot. He hasn't looked back since. Stacy finished the season with 973 yards, and 7 touchdowns.

Let's look at Pro Football Focus  take on Stacy.

Week 10 marked his third straight game with 26-plus rush attempts, but he performed poorly compared to the preceding games. He gained just 62 yards, was unable to force a missed tackle, and dropped a pass en route to his lowest-graded game of the season (-2.6 overall). In the next game against the Bears, he began to bounce back but a concussion ended his day early at 12 attempts for 87 yards and a touchdown.

The final five games of the season were up-and-down and for the most part, nowhere near his early season production. He averaged less than two yards per carry against the Cardinals before posting a 133 rushing yard performance against the Saints, in which he gained 110 yards after contact. His resurgence was short-lived and he earned a -1.8 rush grade in consecutive weeks to end the season. Stacy didn’t fare as well against the Seahawks the second time around with just 15 rushing yards on as many carries.

Even though Stacy’s season ended on a down note, he was easily the most productive back on the team. He exceeded expectations as a late-round rookie and showed he was capable of shouldering the entire workload. Stacy finished the season just shy of 1,000 yards in roughly 12 games and had the eighth-most yards after contact. Although his consistency left something to be desired (he forced 21 of his 29 missed tackles in a four game stretch), he clearly showed the ability to perform at a high level.

Stacy is a fine running back, and he should be "the guy" for the Rams. But things have gotten murky since the Rams drafted Tre Mason in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL Draft. As long as Stacy is healthy, he should still receive the majority of carries. Built like a workhorse, and he has good vision. The question for Stacy is will he be able to eclipse 1,000 yards, since that's the unofficial milestone you have to break if you want to be a good running back in the NFL.