Little regarded Vanderbilt RB could surprise if given a chance
Every year it seems we end up hearing about a RB who was either drafted late or went undrafted entirely, but comes into the NFL and surprises us and the media pundits with totally unexpected production. Last season it was Washington's 6th round pick, Alfred Morris. Not much was expected from Morris as he was deemed to be slow footed, uncreative, and lacking an extra gear in the open field. If you go back and look at the pre-draft rankings for the RB's, you won't even find Morris in some magazines, and not in the top 25 RB draft prospects anywhere else.
That didn't stop Morris from being the big fantasy football surprise of 2013.
So who could be the next deep fantasy football sleeper RB from the 2013 NFL Draft class?
I already completed my top 2013 NFL Draft RB prospects article. But here, I want to delve deeper. A lot deeper on the current prospect rankings for that next surprise guy from this year's rookie RB class. A guy who either is expected to go in the last 2 rounds, or possibly undrafted at all. With that in mind, I present to you Zac Stacy, RB, Vanderbilt as someone to pay close attention to late in this year's draft.
Stacy is a guy who, in the right system, stands a good chance of surprising at the NFL level. At 5'8", 216 lbs, he's in the mold of the shorter, more compact type of RB's who are easy for defenses to lose behind offensive lineman and just catch a glimpse of as he's squeezing thru the hole. He has strength (witnessed by his 27 reps at the bench press at the combine) and surprising agility (finishing second overall of all RB's in the 3 cone drill at the combine). While lacking elite speed (4.55 in the 40), he fights for extra yardage and has good field vision, sensing the right lane and angle to take with his runs. He's been durable in college and while underutilized as a receiver, he catches the ball well enough. His skill set doesn't "wow" you in any category, but his overall package is one that could translate well at the NFL level.
In the last 2 seasons, 408 rushing attempts, 2,334 rushing yards, 24 rushing TD's while chipping in 30 receptions for another 311 yards. But another trait that I think is going to make NFL teams take notice is what he does off the field. Stacy is a strong character guy. He majored in Special Education in college and is giving of his time in community services. Teams are always looking for a guy who not only is a football player, but also an asset when it comes to community relations. Stacy can be that guy.
Now all this said, there are no guarantees that Stacy does anything at the NFL level. But after the success stories we've seen with other rookie RB's who weren't highly thought of going into the NFL draft, there is certainly precedent for the unlikely to become reality.
Just ask Alfred Morris.