The New England Patriots selected Georgia running back Sony Michel with the No. 31 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, a player who comes with a lot of praise.
Who needs Dion Lewis when you have a stronger, bigger and younger version of the player in Sony Michel. In selecting the Georgia running back with the No. 31 pick overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots proved they don’t draft for need, but instead take the best player they feel is available in the draft.
Let’s face it, drafting any running back in the first round was a surprise by many Patriots fans. With an obvious need for defensive players, taking Michel was basically just adding more sugar to an already super sweet offense.
At 5-foot-11, Michel comes to New England as a bigger version of Lewis. He can obviously run the ball, but what will make him special in a Patriots’ uniform is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. In 14 games with the Bulldogs this past season, Michel rushed for 1,227 yards on 156 carries and caught nine passes for 96 yards.
Those passing numbers will only increase in a system like New England. That’s why fellow Georgia Bulldogs alum and current Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green sees big things ahead for Sony Michel with the Patriots.
"“I love Sony – his versatility,” Green said during an appearance on Adam Schefter’s podcast last week. “Him going to New England, that’s my pick for the Rookie of the Year this year. I’ve seen him play. I know how versatile he is. You put him in a situation like New England, running routes out of the backfield and going against linebackers, that’s my pick for Rookie of the Year.”"
Of courses, much of that will depend on well he picks up the offense. As a running back, there shouldn’t be a problem. As a pass receiver, he’ll have to be able to protect Tom Brady and know when to release out of the backfield. There is no question, with his skills, that he will be a dynamic force once he hits open space.
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Excited to join a crowded backfield
Again, Sony Michel is a bigger, stronger version of Dion Lewis who can stay in the game on all downs. But, his addition adds to an interesting group of running backs that include the very versatile Rex Burkhead, James White, Mike Gillislee and recently signed free agent Jeremy Hill.
Asked about the group of running backs the New England Patriots already have, Michel lauded the group and hopes to learn all he can from the veteran running backs.
"“All I know is that they have a group of guys that are willing to work,” Michel said during his introductory press conference. “Great players. Great playmakers. Great guys I can learn from, I’m willing to learn from. I’m eager and can’t wait until I can get just one thing from each one of those guys and just know that it’s going to be a wonderful experience to get around those vets, guys that have been there before, been in this league and done it in this league and to be able to see what I can get out of them.”"
It definitely sounds like the New England Patriots got a good one. If health doesn’t get in the way, this kid has an opportunity to do some special things in Foxboro.