On the deepest second day of the NFL Draft in recent memory, the Packers only made one selection, but it landed a player that many expected to be the team’s first-round pick.
Alabama’s Eddie Lacy was the Packers’ lone second-round pick at No. 61 overall. He was regarded as the No. 1 running back in the draft by ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller and NFL Network’s Mike Mayock.
But three running backs were taken ahead of Lacy. The Cincinnati Bengals took North Carolina all-purpose back Giovani Bernard with the No. 37 pick at the top of round two. Bernard was the No. 1-rated running back on my board; Jayme Joers, who previewed the running backs for the CheeseheadTV Draft Guide, also had Bernard at the top.
But after Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell was picked to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball was taken by the Denver Broncos, the Packers moved down from No. 55 to No. 61 and stole Lacy with the penultimate pick in the second round.
It’s hard to say definitively how the Packers ranked the running backs, but Packers Director of College Scouting Brian Gutekunst said the team had a high opinion of both Ball and Lacy.
“We liked Montee Ball a lot,” Gutekunst said. “We had (Lacy and Ball) in the same range. They’re different kinds of backs. The history of running backs from the SEC is very, very good. They tend to make it.”