Vanderbilt's all-time leading rusher off to a good start in the NFL

Zac Stacy was the 13th running back taken in this year’s NFL draft.

Halfway through his rookie season, Vanderbilt’s all-time leading rusher looks as if he was seriously underrated. He ranks second among all rookie running backs with 348 rushing yards following his first 100-yard game as a professional, 134 on 26 carries Monday night in a loss to Seattle.

“He’s been great,” St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher said. “I always like to start off with how he plays without the football. He’s doing a really good job in pass protection and getting to where he needs to get to as far as the route progression stuff. He’s got great vision and is a strong inside runner. He’s been a big boost to us.”

Stacy trails only Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy (446 yards), the fourth running back taken, despite the fact that he carried just once in the first four weeks. He has been the St. Louis Rams’ starter since Week 5.

Among the six rookie running backs with at least 50 carries, Stacy’s average of 4.6 yards per rush is the best.

NFL ROOKIE RUNNING BACKS
Rushing leaders

(Through Monday)

1. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay (second round) 446 yards
2. Zac Stacy, St. Louis (fifth round) 348 yards
3. Andre Ellington, Arizona (sixth round) 333 yards
4. Giovanni Bernard, Cincinnati (second round) 282 yards
5. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh (second round) 208 yards

The bad news is that Stacy reportedly sustained an ankle sprain in the next-to-last series of Monday’s contest. It remains to be seen, therefore, if he will be available Sunday when the Tennessee Titans play the Rams at St. Louis.

“I don’t know that he’ll practice [Wednesday] but he’s doing fine,” Fisher said.

The Titans currently rank 24 in run defense but have allowed just one 100-yard rusher this season.