If the Bengals are to find a complimentary runningback to improve their 18th-ranked rushing offense, they may choose to draft a back who will be playing in today’s East-West Shrine game. Josh Norris of Rotoworld attended East-West Shrine practices this week, and his top-2 players to watch were Vanderbilt RB Zac Stacy and Pitt RB Ray Graham:
1. RB Zac Stacy (5083/215), Vanderbilt – Was this a great week for Stacy? No, but his running style is not one that would stand out in situations with limited contact. The Commodore would thrive in a slant or zone blocking scheme, using decisive cuts and physicality to make defenders miss at the second level. I am not saying he is the next Alfred Morris, but the Redskin was at this event last year and made very little noise. The two play the position similarly.
2. RB Ray Graham (5093/192), Pittsburgh – Unlike Stacy, Graham’s explosive style did impress onlookers during limited contact practices. His right knee looks fully healthy, and Graham was unafraid to burst off cuts in either direction. I still consider him an early third day selection, but like Stacy, Graham could be a productive back if given the opportunity.
Stacy is projected to be selected between rounds 3-5, while Graham is expected to go in rounds 4-6. Either one could step in and provide the Bengals with a good change-of-pace back to compliment BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ power-running style.