In easily the most shocking pick of the opening round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams selected Georgia running back Todd Gurley with the 10th overall pick in the draft. Gurley is the first running back to be drafted in the first round since 2012.
This is definitely a bold statement by head coach Jeff Fisher and the Rams. Gurley clearly has top-five talent, but a suspension and ACL injury in his last collegiate season don’t usually sit well with NFL franchises on Draft Day. Although Gurley claims he will be ready for Week 1, No. 10 still seems very early to draft a back coming off such a serious injury.
Fortunately for the Rams, they are sitting on some depth and talent at the running back position; but starting back Zac Stacy may be taking the first flight out of Missouri. His Twitter reaction to the Rams selection was short and to the point—“Yikes.”
Clearly Stacy feels the Rams have drafted his replacement, and he’s already asked the team for a trade (On a side note: this could be good news for the Dallas Cowboys and other teams who still need to add a solid back). The Rams already chose Tre Mason over Stacy in 2014, but apparently this is where Zac draws the line.
Either way, Mason will be Gurley’s biggest competition for the starting spot in 2015; but the former Bulldog is a competitor, and he feels that his knee will be ready for him to compete for the top of the depth chart. At the same time however, he understands that sitting the first few weeks out may be better for himself and the team long term:
“Obviously, I want to be the guy,” said Gurley after the pick. “But like I said, nothing is going to be given. I’m going to go in there, work hard, and compete; and at the end of the day, I’m going to do whatever the team needs me to do.”
I wonder if the whole Auburn-Georgia rivalry will make things weird between Todd Gurley and Tre Mason.