Going into the 2014 season there is no question that Zac Stacy will be the Rams starting running back after the season that he had. Not only did he almost rush for 1,000 yards in 12 games last season, but he gave the offense the spark that they were missing in the run game.
The only question at running back is who will be playing behind Stacy. The Rams could just roll will Stacy, but that would limit the Rams running game to only a straight up power run game.
Not only that, but for running backs it seems like many don’t make it in the league after they are thirty. Giving Stacy 25-30 carries per game would certainly damage his career later on.
Stacy may have only played in twelve games last season, but he still ended up with the 11th most carries. He also had 20.8 carries per game, one of the highest in the league. The Rams found a diamond in the rough in Zac Stacy, they need to be cautious with how much they use him.
In today’s league, many teams use a two-back system with a power back and a speedy, one cut and go back. The Rams are pretty set with at the power back position, but the Rams don’t have a proven running back that can make that one cut and they’re gone.
The Rams do have Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead, but both have seemed to have fallen off the map. After a promising 2012, Richardson disappointed to say the least in 2013. Pead on the other hand has never been the player the Rams though he would be.
The Rams also have Benny Cunningham who impressed last year, and he will no doubt be on the roster next season, but he doesn’t bring anything that different that what Stacy does already.
With that said, it would be smart for the Rams to draft a speedy guy in the mid to late rounds in the draft to at least bring in some competition for Richardson and Pead. In the last two years teams have been able to find good running backs in that area of the draft. Finding a running back that can make an impact right away in the later rounds, is possible.
One of many options for the Rams would be Oregon’s DeAnthony Thomas, who is ranked 6th on Mel Kiper’s top’s top ten running backs in the draft. Thomas is projected to go in the later rounds and would be just on of many directions the Rams could go at the position.
The Rams need a guy that brings something different to the table and can take some of the workload off of Stacy. If they don’t, Stacy’s career could be shortened, and if it’s one thing we learned last season, it’s that the Rams need Zac Stacy.