The NFL is a copycat league. Once something can be proven to be successful, more teams will try and emulate the scheme, play, or types of personnel moves. One such movement could be employing a running back the likes of Alvin Kamara, who won Offensive Rookie of the Year for the 2017 NFL season with the New Orleans Saints despite the Saints already having a top back in Mark Ingram.
Sony Michel of Georgia fits that mold and it just so happens that he played in the SEC much like Kamara.
Height: 5’ 10 5/8”
Hand size: 9 1/8”
Arm length: 31 1/4”
40 time: 4.54 seconds (Top 10 For Position)
Bench: 22 reps (Top Five For Position)
Fr: 8 Games, 64 Rush, 410 Yards, 6.4 Avg, 5 TDs
So: 13 Games, 218 Rush, 1,136 Yards, 5.2 Avg, 8 TDs
Jr: 12 Games, 152 Rush, 840 Yards, 5.5 Avg, 4 TDs
Sr: 14 Games, 156 Rush, 1,227 Yards, 7.9 Avg, 16 TDs
Total: 47 Games, 590 Rec, 3,613 Yards, 6.1 Avg, 33 TDs
Fr: 8 Games, 7 Rec, 106 Yards, 15.1 Avg, 1 TDs
So: 13 Games, 26 Rec, 270 Yards, 10.4 Avg, 3 TDs
Jr: 12 Games, 22 Rec, 149 Yards, 6.8 Avg, 1 TDs
Sr: 14 Games, 9 Rec, 96 Yards, 10.7 Avg, 1 TDs
Total: 47 Games, 64 Rec, 621 Yards, 9.7 Avg, 6 TDs
One of the best traits that Sony Michel possesses is great balance. You don't see it only come into play when contacted but the attribute is noticeable with his ability to keep his feet in bounds when tightroping the sidelines as well.
He showed explosiveness and burst when running through holes opened up by the Georgia offensive line, which is something that he could very much get used to in Arlington, Texas on Sundays. His game film didn’t match his numbers at the combine, so it will be interesting to see if he re-tests at the Georgia Pro Day on March 21st.
To the point of finding a player like Kamara, the back would need to be a good receiver out of the backfield. Over his career at Georgia, Michel had success as a receiving RB. His production went down in this area for the 2017 season as his focus looked primarily on running the ball. Also playing with a freshman quarterback could have factored in as well.
Fact is, Sony can be a weapon out of the backfield or lined up in the slot with Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield if Scott Linehan wants to try something new for once.
Michel is the type of back that brings the change of pace to an offense for the most part. He can be a compliment to a bruiser type of running back, much like his college teammate Nick Chubb. The only issue in that is Elliott is both the bruiser and the change of pace back all wrapped up into one player.
Still Michel, could be a difference maker given his ability to make players miss when he reaches the second level.
One of the biggest things that Sony Michel will need to work on as he prepares to enter the NFL will be his blocking. It isn’t that he is incapable of blocking, but you will find that he can make a better effort. Going low on potential rushers can be effective at times, the more athletic ones can avoid the attempt and won’t be impeded on route to Dak Prescott. Michel should focus on his form.
Ball security is a huge concern for any running back and Michel isn’t immune to this transgression. During his time in Athens, he was guilty of putting the ball on the ground 12 times. Michel averages a fumble every 54 touches. That's not an incredibly egregious number, but it is concerning nonetheless. Michel's team lost less than half of those fumbles, so there is the positive spin.
Sony Michel very well may be this year’s Alvin Kamara, a dynamic playmaker who can help elevate an offense. The Dallas Cowboys may be in need of someone to be the number two running back on the depth chart but where does Michel get selected in this year's draft? The latest could be somewhere in the third round. A serious conversation very well should occur should Michel still be available at 81.
Would you spend a third round pick on RB Sony Michel or are you content with how the dept chart shakes out at running back in Dallas? Share your thoughts with Patrick on Twitter @DraftCowboys.