UGA Running Back #1
-lowers shoulder and runs through contact
-Has great vision and trusts it
-Great balance after being hit
-Straight line speed is a question
-Needs to improve on blocking technique
Sony Michel was a 4-star prospect coming out of high school. He was the 19th overall player in the ESPN 300 and the second prospect at his position, behind only Leonard Fournette. Michel held offers from many power five schools and choose UGA. He had a great career at Georgia, being a four-year player for the team. He finishes his career with 654 scrimmage plays, 4,234 yards, and 39 scrimmage touchdowns. Michel was a great leader on the Georgia team as well.
Michel is one of my favorite running backs in this class. He has elite traits, such as his elusiveness and balance. When running through contact Michel always lowers his shoulder to give him the edge over the defender, and he wins more than he loses. He trusts his vision and is elusive enough to make defenders miss at the last second. He has great burst to get into the open field and can makes many players miss in a one on one scenario.
One important trait that is often overlooked when grading running backs is ball security. Watching Michel play I was very impressed with this skill. He always holds the ball with two hands when running past or through defenders. The ball is always secured high and tight to avoid any chances of a fumble.
I do worry about how fast his straight-line speed is. On tape he looks to be fast enough to out run all defenders when in the open field but not sure if he is fast enough to do it at the next level. This was also a question for former FSU Running back Dalvin Cook last year after he ran a bad 40 time. I don’t see his speed as a major concern, just something to look out for.
Michel also needs to look to improve his blocking technique at the next level. Often Michel’s hands drift out and he starts to hold the defender. He used the chop block a lot on his 2016 tape, or at least the game I watched, but looked to improve that in 2017. His blocking technique is something that a good running backs coach can work out and improve to get him more comfortable on.
Overall, I think Michel will be a great back in the NFL. He is a very rounded back and has the elite traits you look for in a back. His ability to be a great receiver will help him thrive early, if in the right situation.
Rating Sony Michel
(all out of 10)
Lateral Quickness: 9.5
Tackle Breaking: 9.1
My Grade: Mid 1st round
Projected Round: Late 1st-Early 2nd
Games Watched: vs Notre Dame (17), vs Auburn (17), vs Alabama (18), vs Oklahoma (18), vs Kentucky (16)