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Eddie Lacy tops Making the Leap list for Week 10


The goal of our weekly Making the Leap watch is to highlight part-time players making the leap to difference-makers or unproven young talents ascending to key contributors. Once players have truly made the leap, they will graduate from this running list.

Our first five graduates are Harrison Smith, Jordan Cameron, Cameron Jordan, Jurrell Casey and Damon Harrison, all of whom have established themselves as Pro Bowl-caliber players. They've made the leap.

Previous lists: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Midseason Team.

Without further ado, here is the list of players making the leap in Week 10:

1. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers running back

2. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals running back

3. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams running back

Lacy is leading the NFL in rushing over the past five weeks while touching the ball nearly 24 times per game. His 150 yards against the Bears were the most by a Packers running back since Ryan Grant's 156 in Week 14 of 2007. It will be interesting to see if he can sustain that level of production against stacked boxes with Aaron Rodgers out of the lineup. ... Coordinator Jay Gruden compared Bernard to Barry Sanders this week. High praise indeed. ... Stacy is one of just three backs (Ryan Mathews, Alfred Morris) with consecutive 100-yard games this season.

4. Star Lotulelei, Carolina Panthers defensive tackle

5. Dontari Poe, Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle

6. Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end

Marc Sessler's preseason pick for Defensive Rookie of the Year, Lotulelei has played exceptionally well for a defense that has allowed the fewest points in the NFL. "A lot of people thought he (should have been) the No. 1 pick," 49ers fullback Bruce Miller said this week. "And I can see why."

Cox and Cedric Thornton have keyed a suddenly frisky Eagles defense that has allowed a respectable 18.6 points per over the past five games. Cox is a superior pass rusher while Thornton leads all 3-4 defensive ends in Pro Football Focus' run-stop percentage.

7. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver

8. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears wide receiver

9. Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers wide receiver

The Houston Texans thoroughly outplayed the Colts in Week 9, but they had no answer for Hilton in the game's final 20 minutes. Already on pace for more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, Hilton will be taking on a "frontline, prominent role" with Reggie Wayne out for the season. ... Jeffery is fourth among NFL receivers, averaging 103 yards per game since Week 4. He and Brandon Marshall are on pace to join Curtis Conway and Jeff Graham (1995) as the only pair of teammates in Bears history to each top 1,000 yards in a season.

Allen made his fair share of mistakes in the Week 9 loss to the Redskins, but his savvy route running puts fellow rookie DeAndre Hopkins' to shame.

10. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback

Tom Brady has attempted 340 passes this season. Foles has attempted 118. They both have 13 touchdown passes.

Cold list: Justin Blackmon, Dee Milliner, Geno Smith, Bilal Powell, Bernard Pierce, Ronnie Hillman, Montee Ball, Eric Fisher, Nick Toon, Tavon Austin, Vincent Brown, Ace Sanders, Kenbrell Thompkins, Matt Barkley, Brian Winters, Lamar Holmes, Peter Konz, Ronald Leary, Shamarko Thomas, Jarvis Jones, D.J. Hayden, Brandian Ross

Watch list: Jordan Reed, Julius Thomas, Tyrann Mathieu, Alterraun Verner, Sheldon Richardson, Chandler Jones, Chris Ivory, Mark Barron, Marcus Cooper, Andre Ellington, Mike James, Kendall Wright, Josh Gordon, Aaron Dobson, Marvin Jones, Cedric Thornton, Kiko Alonso, Vontaze Burfict, Junior Galette, Kenny Vaccaro, Eric Reid, Corey Lemonier, Jamari Lattimore, John Hughes, D.J. Fluker, David Bakhtiari, Demar Dotson

Trainer's room: David Wilson, Shane Vereen, Dwayne Allen, T.J. McDonald, Ryan Broyles

The latest "Around The League Podcast" previews every Week 10 game, including the heavyweight battle between the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers.