The Packers' running game got the huge boost it needed in the second round of the NFL Draft.

After trading back six spots to No. 61, Green Bay selected Alabama's Eddie Lacy. He was considered the top running back in this year's class by many draft experts, but he continued to slide down the board before the Packers finally took him.

"It was a really long wait," Lacy said in a teleconference. "It's going to a big motivation piece I can use. I couldn't tell you why I slid so far but, at the end of the day, it is what it is and you can't do anything about it. I'm just looking forward to being part of a new team and contributing."

Packers director of college scouting Brian Gutekunst said he was "a little bit" surprised Lacy fell so far.

Lacy, at 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds, started all 14 games as a junior in 2012 and rushed for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns to help Alabama win the national championship. He was named the Most Valuable Player in that game against Notre Dame.

"I'm a bigger guy, a tough runner, a physical runner," Lacy said. "That's just natural. But I'm also shifty, and I can make defenders miss and also break long runs. I just feel like I can do anything."

In Ted Thompson's first eight years as Green Bay's general manager, the highest he had ever drafted a running back was Brandon Jackson at No. 63 in 2007. Thompson, however, insisted that he's never been opposed to drafting running backs in the early rounds.

"It's just happenstance," Thompson said. "It's just the way it's worked out. When I was in Seattle, we drafted Shaun Alexander (the 2005 NFL MVP) late in the first round and it turned out OK."

Drafting running backs in the early rounds has become increasingly rare across the league. This was the first time since 1963 that a running back wasn't drafted in the first round. With Lacy's talent and production, though, there were more than enough reasons for Thompson to make this selection.

"He's big, he's powerful," Thompson said. "He's got a great lateral cut, spin move. He's played at a fairly high level. Good kid."

Lacy will have to prove himself worthy of becoming the Packers' starting running back, but Green Bay hasn't had a consistent player in the backfield since Ryan Grant rushed for 1,253 yards in 2009.

"I will allow the defense to not just be able to focus on the passes because there's a back in the backfield who's going to have to make them think about the run," Lacy said. "And if we can run out of the shotgun, it'll just make the offense that much more dangerous."