Oct 27, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) celebrates his touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Packers win 44-31. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Did Pittsburgh Steelers make a mistake passing on Eddie Lacy?


When the 2013 draft rolled around, everyone and their mothers knew the Pittsburgh Steelers needed to target a running back in the early rounds.

When that opportunity came in the second round, Steelers’ general manager Kevin Colbert filled the need by selecting Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell.

Oct 27, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) carries the ball during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

So far it seems as if Bell could work out to be a pretty good NFL running back as it looks like he could be a versatile every down back.

There’s only one problem though with the selection of Bell.

Alabama’s Eddie Lacy was still on the board.

I said it on draft day and I’m saying it again, the Steelers will end up regretting the fact that they passed on Lacy.

Sitting as the No. 1 back on almost every draft board at the time, it looked like a gift that Lacy was available for the running back starved Steelers at the time. Sure some teams were scared off by a potential toe problem, but sometimes you just have to take the best player on the board.

Apparently Colbert didn’t see it that way.

The NFL sure has, especially after Lacy’s 150 yard performance Monday night against the Chicago Bears.

The Alabama product has shot some life into the Green Bay Packers offense, rushing for 596 yards in the Packers seven games, averaging a nice 4.4 yards per carry. Since he has come back from his concussion suffered in Week 2, Lacy has looked like a beast.

The same can’t be said for Bell.

The Michigan State product has rushed for only 282 yards and a 3.5 yards per carry average in the five games he has played since returning from injury.

Now it’s not totally fair to look at the numbers and compare the two backs as the Steelers offense line in blatantly bad, but it’s not like Lacy is running behind the Dallas Cowboys line of the 90′s. The Packers offensive line isn’t great, but it is much better than the Steelers is.

This isn’t really a knock on Bell as much it is praise for Lacy and another illustration of how Colbert could have missed once again in the draft.

I have no doubt that Bell will turn into an above average every down back in the NFL.

That’s good, but Lacy has the makings of a Top 5 NFL running back in very short time.

A couple years from now, if you aren’t doing it already, you can look back at this draft and wonder how the Steelers future could be different had they taken the best player on the board.

For a franchise in need of a dominant running back, that player was there.

Unfortunately for the Steelers he ended up in Green Bay.

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Tags: Eddie Lacy Green Bay Packers Le'Veon Bell Pittsburgh Steelers

  • bill petti

    I didn’t see that comin at all!!!!

  • Jaime

    one of Mr. Colbert’s and company mistakes

  • Nine

    Could it also be, however, that if the Steelers had taken Lacy, you’d be writing the same article about why didn’t they take LeVeon Bell? Your point that Green Bay’s line is better than ours, is the most important point in the article. I believe the Steelers took Bell because he is a bigger back, more of a bruiser, and considering our line issues, we would need a bigger back. Plus, having a bruiser back like Bell is more the Steelers’ style.

    Bell will be fine. Once the line matures, and he matures, he’s going to do very well. Ya’ll forget just how young the line still is.

    • Thumper833

      you beat me to it. The line is a horror show. I am sure Lacy would be struggling as well. We wont know what we have till the festering wound of the o line is upgraded to at least mediocre.

    • Matt Shetler

      Very good point and that could quite be the case and like I said I’m not knocking Bell here and I will point out that it isn’t like Lacy is a finesse back. I just look back and feel taking the top guy on every board was a much better fit for me personally. Also remember that many draft boards didn’t have Bell in their top 5 and I know that’s not an exact science, but looking back they likely could have gotten Bell in the 3rd round as there weren’t many backs coming of the board. I just felt Lacy there was a gift. I felt that way on draft day and I still think it was a mistake.I hope in 3 years I am proven wrong but I just never envisioned Bell as the top flight back that I feel Lacy is going to be

  • Dom DiTolla

    I never wanted the Steelers to take a running back at #48 overall in the first place. Inside Linebacker, Safety, Wide Receiver, Cornerback, and Outside Linebacker were far more important positions of need, and some extremely talented players were still available at that juncture.

    Nevertheless, Lacy is and will turn out to be the far superior prospect. This is “Sean Lee over Jason Worilds” all over again. Lol.

  • bk

    When LAcy was available when the Steelers picked in Rd 2, I was elated… I was sure that would be the pick… Me and my nephew were texting back and forth how we could not believe he fell to us there… then… ugh are you serious?