Sony Michel

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By: Willie Lovato


Position: RB


The Pros

  • Elusive
  • Big-play waiting to happen
  • Exceptional 2nd and 3rd gear
  • Stronger than advertised
  • Good vision
  • Quick acceleration through running lanes
  • Eats up space quickly
  • 3-down ability
  • Reliable pass-protector

Elusive - Michel is more of a one cut/juke guy rather than a very shifty player. He uses his open-field vision and subtle body leans and fakes to set up defenders and get by them.

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Big-play waiting to happen - You don't rack up 1,227 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns while only averaging 11 rushing attempts per game without some big plays. His game-breaking speed and open-field vision make him a threat to take any carry to the house once he gets past the first layer of defenders.

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2nd and 3rd gear - His 4.5 forty-time at the NFL Combine was slower than expected, but is also a little misleading. Sony isn't the fastest running back in the class but makes up for it by being able to hit his top-end speed quickly and maintain it long enough to rip off huge runs.

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Stronger than advertised - Michel uses all 214 pounds of his frame to his advantage. He is not a bruiser by any means, but he is able to lower his pads and meet force with force at the end of his runs when necessary.

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3-down back skill set - Michel's true upside is tied to his ability to contribute on 3rd down. Although he only hauled in 9 receptions in 2017, he was able to log a combined 48 receptions for 419 yards and 4 receiving touchdowns in the 2 seasons prior. Sony's film shows a player capable of contributing as a receiver out of the backfield, as well as a runner.

Reliable pass protector - Michel's effort and technique as a pass blocker will earn him reps on 3rd down regardless of his ability to catch. This will at least lead to some screen and dump-off opportunities early on.

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The Cons

  • Patience between the tackles
  • Every-down RB?

Patience between the tackles - Michel will need to learn to be a little more patient if he in fact can turn into a every down back. While his straight line burst style is a plus when a big running lane presents itself, it's not as effective when things get clogged up in the middle. Allowing blockers to get into position and rushing lanes to open up will be important on the next level due to the fact that the number of huge running lanes will diminsh from college to the pros.

Every down RB? - Sharing a backfield with fellow stud running back Nick Chubb led Michel to play the role of the "change of pace" back. Chubb was known as the "Thunder" and Michel the "Lightning". However, 2015 was a different story after Nick Cubb suffered a season-ending knee injury. Michel racked up 1,136 rushing yards on 218 carries. He did not top 160 carries in the two years since then. Whether he is capable of true every-down work or thrives in a role with fewer touches is yet to be determined.

Summary

Sony Michel is an explosive play maker that does not require a heavy workload to produce big time results. The stats can tell you that much. Although he doesn't require a heave workload to produce he does have the size, speed, and receiving talent to grow into a every down starter.

Fantasy Impact

Regardless of how many touches he gets to start his career, one thing is for sure, Sony Michel is going to produce highlight plays and fantasy points. Alvin Kamara is the player that came to mind when watching Michel's tape due to the fact that he doesn't need to touch the ball 20 times a game in order to put up fantasy points.

Michel is a top-5 lock in rookie drafts pending landing spot.