NFL Camp Competition (07/26/13)

By John Ewing
With NFL training camps underway we check in on a few key position battles around the league including NFL rookies. (2013 projections for rookies are based on this analysis which projects rookie seasons for all NFL prospects as if they were starters on average NFL teams).
 


There are many position battles occurring around the league. This series will look at some of the most prominent clashes occurring in NFL training camps. Previous competitions: Jets QB, Bills QB, Packers RB.
 
St. Louis Rams – Running Back Competition
 
Incumbent: Daryl Richardson
2012 stats – 475 Rush Yds, 0 TDs, 163 Rec. Yds, 0 TDs
Richardson, a little known back out of Abilene Christian, made a splash last season when he earned the right to back-up Steven Jackson, the Rams’ all-time leading rusher. Richardson started off hot (talks of replacing Jackson), but cooled as the season progressed with only 16 carries in the last five games. In a wide-open competition, Richardson’s speed and quickness will be valuable as a change of pace back because in all likelihood St. Louis will be running back by committee.
 
Incumbent: Isaiah Pead
2012 stats – 54 Rush Yds, 0 TDs, 16 Rec. Yds, 0 TDs
It would be an understatement to say Pead had a disappointing rookie season. There was a one game suspension to begin the season coupled with being relegated to third string and touching the ball only thirteen times all season. The former second-round pick should be in a better position to succeed entering his sophomore campaign. Richardson is currently listed ahead of him on the depth chart but a strong preseason could see Pead starting in the backfield when the regular season kicks off.
 
Challenger: Zac Stacy
2013 projections – 992.2 Rush Yds, 4.1 YPC, 225.1 Rec. Yds
Stacy rushed for 1,141 yards and 10 touchdowns in his last season at Vanderbilt. The former Commodore standout could play a substantial role in the Rams’ offense. St. Louis drafted Stacy in the 5th round, the 14th running back taken. We had Stacy as the seventh best halfback in the draft with a 6.8 rating (0-10 scale). Stacy’s rating is similar to last year’s draftee David Wilson (7.1); the expected starter for the Giants this fall.