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Thursday, April 11, 2013
Eddie Lacy runs 40-yard dash

By Alex Scarborough
TideNation

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- After putting off the NFL combine and allowing time for his injured hamstring to heal, Eddie Lacy ran his much-anticipated 40-yard dashes Thursday on the University of Alabama campus.

One scout timed Lacy as having run a 4.59 and 4.62 in the 40. His top time would have placed him 15th among running backs who competed in March's NFL combine.

Lacy said he's close to 100 percent healthy after getting hurt during training.

"During my 40, I was a little nervous about actually opening up but I ran a pretty good time, so I'm satisfied with that," he said.

Scouts Inc. currently has Lacy, a possible first-round selection, as its highest-rated running back in the draft and the 43rd best prospect overall.

The biggest concern, an AFC scout said, was the health of Lacy, who suffered a small tear of the hamstring during a mock combine event in February at IMG.

"He's proven he's a good back the way he played all season," the scout said. "The main thing was to see how the hamstring was doing, and he's obviously done a lot of work on that."

Another primary concern among talent evaluators was Lacy's ability to catch the football. He had 22 receptions last season. Lacy said showing his hands was one of his top priorities during the workout.

"Outside of the 40, just proving I can catch," Lacy said. "I didn't have a lot of opportunities here at Alabama to show my hands out of the backfield, so during the passing drills I just wanted to show them I can catch.

"I did good. I probably bobbled a pass or two, but everything else was caught clean."

The 5-foot-11, 230-pound Lacy also did shuttle runs and other drills but appeared winded at times and had to step out of the indoor practice facility briefly to catch his breath at one point.

"That was the most intense it's been for me since I've been coming off my hamstring injury and just trying to work myself back into shape," Lacy said.

He spent the latter part of the workout running pass routes and didn't have any drops. Lacy ran for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns and caught 17 passes for 189 yards as a junior in his lone season as the starter.

Lacy worked much of the session with Miami Dolphins running backs coach Jeff Nixon. Tennessee Titans running backs coach Sylvester Croom was also among those present.

Alabama coach Nick Saban, who coached for the better part of a decade in the NFL, said on Wednesday that if Lacy was healthy, he would run fast.

"He's faster than you think," he said of his former All-SEC back. "He has very deceptive speed, and very deceptive quickness. For three or four years around here, I've been watching Eddie Lacy, who everybody thinks is a little too straight-line as a runner, and can't make people miss, make people miss in the hole, with his sudden quickness and great change of direction. He's physical, tough, he's got great size. He's a really good all-around player, a good receiver, he can block in pass protection, and he can be physical when he needs to and get it downhill.

"I think Eddie is a very, very complete player. I don't really see a lot of flaws in his game. I think he'll be a very, very good player for somebody."

Lacy and teammates Dee Milliner, Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker have all accepted invitations to attend the NFL draft in New York. Lacy initially had doubts about making that trip.

"I don't like big crowds or going to big places so I was going to spend it with my family," he said. "After a while, I started to think, it's not every day you get to go to a draft in New York. So I talked it over with my parents and I was given a chance to go back and we took it."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.