Position: Running Back
Weight: 220 pounds
School: Georgia Bulldogs
Combine Performance Data
40-Yard Dash: 4.54 seconds
20-Yard Dash: 4.21 seconds
Bench Press: 22 reps (fifth among running backs)
Sony Michel 2018 NFL Draft Profile
From an early age, it was easy to see Sony Michel was an incredibly gifted runner. During his senior season at American Heritage High School, he rushed for 24 touchdowns and more than 1,800 yards. When he wasn’t playing football, he was competing in track and field, earning first-place finishes at the Florida High School Athletic Association 2A meet in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. The five-star recruit was rated as the 13th overall prospect in his class and committed to Georgia.
Michel saw the field as a true freshman in 2014 and made a significant impact despite fracturing his shoulder blade. Entering the 2015 season, Michel was slated second on the depth chart behind Nick Chubb but still saw significant playing time. For the rest of his collegiate career, Michel would back up Chubb whenever both were healthy. This gave the Bulldogs a formidable pair of runners that they relied upon on their way to a National Championship Game appearance.
Michel played his best when the lights were the brightest. He earned his lone start in his freshman year in the Belk Bowl against Louisville, in which the Bulldogs emerged victorious. In the 2016 Liberty Bowl, Michel found the end zone twice and was the Offensive MVP in a victory against TCU. His most impressive game, however, was in the 2018 Rose Bowl, in which he gashed Oklahoma for 181 yards on the ground and four total touchdowns.
- Superb pass-protector
- Elite burst
- Home-run hitter capable of scoring from any distance
- Great with the ball in space
- Excellent first cut
- Does not shy away from contact
- Not a natural pass-catcher
- Does not possess game-breaking elusiveness
- Turnover prone
- Struggles with inside runs when the offensive line has not created a hole
- Lacks elite top-end speed for a home-run threat
NFL Comparison: Chris Thompson
Projection: Late first round
Michel’s insane burst and his first-cut ability make him the type of running back every NFL team could use. He is not a traditional three-down back but is too great of an athlete and runner to simply be labeled a third-down back. Michel would work best as an electric complement to a more traditional back, similar to how the New Orleans Saints deployed Alvin Kamara as the lightning to Mark Ingram’s thunder. The Saints usage of Kamara and the copy-cat nature of the NFL will most likely push Michel into the first round. He has to work on running between the tackles and ball security, but that can be mitigated by game plan. Overall, Michel appears like he will be a defensive coordinator’s nightmare for years to come.