Sony Michel is finishing his senior season strong at Georgia. Depending on who you talk to, it could be the start of a long career in football. Michel is expected to be a selected in the draft this spring, and could be the next Georgia running back to blossom into an NFL star.
In his fourth and final season in Athens, Michel has been putting up career numbers. After rushing for 17 touchdowns in his first three seasons, Michel rushed for 16 scores in his final year. He’s averaged over six yards per carry his entire collegiate career, and has caught 64 balls for an added six scores.
Everybody loves the latest thing, and Michel is finishing his college career like a champ. He torched Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, finishing with four touchdowns and 222 yards on just 15 touches.
At Georgia, Michel had an advantage that no other school possessed: Nick Chubb. The duo propelled Georgia to the national title, and Michel compiled 1225 yards on only 151 touches. For comparison, Saquon Barkley touched the ball 271 times this season.
In this CBS mock draft, Michel is not selected in the first round.
Charlie Campbell has his RB rankings for the 2018 draft class, and Michel is listed as the seventh-best back in the class. Another WalterFootball mock draft has Michel going to the Buccaneers in the second round with the 38th pick, just two spots after Chubb.
SI has Michel as the eighth-best prospect in the national title game, and cites his straight-line speed as his most attractive trait.
Because of his limited workload, critics could easily point to his durability as one of his drawbacks. But Michel is listed at nearly six feet and 215 pounds, giving him the NFL frame before he signs his first contract.
Michel is a senior so he has no choice, but it’s not a great year for a running back to go pro. Barkley and Derrius Guice are both climbing draft boards as juniors, and the incoming class appears loaded. But Michel has unteachable breakaway speed, and has seen less punishment than most would-be NFL backs. Wherever Michel ends up, he should be an impact player on the first day.