Draft Insiders’ Rookie Spotlight – RB Sony Michel – Patriots
By Frank Coyle
Draft Insiders’ will post Rookie spotlight players regularly and their Scouting Report from our NFL Draft 2018 Yearbook. Scouting Reports are written from the fall into March annually.
Rookie runner Sony Michel has been one of the top impact first year players in the NFL this season. He has been a difference maker for the Patriots current playoff run. In their opening playoff game victory over the Chargers, he rushed for 129 yards on 24 carries for 3 TDs and 1 reception for 9 yards. He was instrumental as their run to a 35-0 first half advantage that never relinquished.
For his rookie season, he rushed for 931 yards on just 209 carries for a 4.5 yard average and 6 TDs. He added 7 receptions. Over the season, he has split time with veteran James White to give the Pats a combo that averaged 4.5 yards per attempt.
Michel is an every down back and one of the most productive runners over an SEC career prior to this season. His well rounded talent translated quickly to the NFL and he has been an interchangeable part for all the Patriots offensive packages.
Here is his Scouting Report from Draft Insiders’ Yearbook 2018 written March 2018
Sony Michel #1 – Georgia 5-11 215 – Sp. 4.50
Player Comparison: Isaiah Crowell Rating 60
Talented multi-dimensional all around back has been an impact performer for the Bulldogs the past three seasons. Earned SEC honors in 2017 after an excellent overall performance. Tough natural low based runner shows quick feet with good size and speed to be an NFL feature back. Slides nicely laterally and runs with a wiggle to string multiple moves together. Gets to top speed quickly with the ability to adjust his speed and change gears well. On the 2nd level, he has a burst to run away from defenders. Displays good lower body power and is able to make consistent yardage after contact. Keeps his pad level down to run over defenders. Developing receiver comes out of the backfield quickly into his routes. Shows reliable hands and capable of making the tough catch. In space, he knows what to do with the ball and shows the burst to take the play the distance. Very effective on screens and shorter routes, though only a limited route tree and needs some further development. Displayed the ability to run inside and outside, though not a physical downhill power back between the tackles. As a pass blocker, he’s alert, aware and competent at picking up the blitz. Keeps his feet well and shows good balance and functional strength. Explosive when he sees a crease and is capable of making huge yardage. Good vision and awareness to keep drives alive. Versatile talent to give an offense a unique weapon to command special attention in every situation and high level 1A type.
The Numbers: As a senior in 2017, he shared time with Nick Chubb and played in 14 games and rushed for 1227 yards on 156 carries for a 7.9 yard average and 16 TDs. He caught 9 passes for 96 yards and 1 TD. As a junior, he rushed for 840 yards on 152 carries for a 5.5 average and 4 TDs. He caught 22 passes for 149 yards and 1 TD. As a sophomore, he rushed for over 1000 yards with 8 TDs and 26 receptions and 3 TDs. Over his career, he rushed for 3638 yards on 591 carries for 6.2 yard average with 33 rushing TDs and 64 catches with 6 TDs. At the NFL Combine, he came in at 5’10”, 214 lbs. and ran a 4.54 time. He did 22 reps, a 4.21 shuttle and no other events. At the pro day, he looked sharp in drills, catching the ball and looking smooth in routes.
The Skinny: Natural runner and receiver with good speed to change games. Nice combination of speed, power and cutting skills. Combines the size, quickness and strength to get into the end zone. Well-rounded with the suddenness to get outside and make the corner with the burst to hit the home run. Rising talent probably goes in the top 50 prospects and capable of being a quality feature back similar to rookie sensation Alvin Kamara who we were very high on last year. Kamara’s YB Scouting Report is on web site. Also, Frank Gore and Isaiah Crowell in size, style and speed. Fine addition with starting talent to be a three down back, though more a complete 1A type and nice asset for any backfield.
Draft Projection: 2nd Round