Despite finishing as the third-leading rusher in Georgia history – and No. 16 in SEC history – Sony Michel was overshadowed throughout his career by teammate Nick Chubb, who is the No. 2 rusher in both school and SEC history.
But Michel has been a favorite of NFL personnel folks all season, and he impressed them again with his postseason performances.
Michel rushed for 279 yards and three TDs on just 25 carries in the Bulldogs’ two postseason games, and NFL personnel executives raved about him to NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah.
Jeremiah, a former NFL scout, asked five NFL personnel execs which prospect helped himself the most in the postseason, and three said Michel.
Their comments (they were promised anonymity):
• “He was highly thought of before, but he separated himself from Chubb and showed how talented he really is in those two bowl games.”
• “Michel is a three-down back. I knew more about the other running backs coming into the bowl season, but I thought he stood out the most during the playoff. I was very impressed.”
• “I thought Michel was dominant on the big stage. There’s nothing he can’t do as a runner. He plays the game with passion, and maybe the outcome of the championship would’ve been different if they didn’t stop using him in the fourth quarter.”
Michel (5 feet 11, 215 pounds) was a fulltime starter for only a half-season, as a sophomore in 2015 when Chubb was injured midway through the season. One aspect that likely appeals to NFL decision-makers is that Michel was not overworked – not close – at Georgia, finishing his career with 590 carries. (Derrick Henry had 395 in 2015 alone.) That’s almost 175 fewer than Chubb, who had 758 attempts.
Michel’s receiving ability also will be appealing. At one point during his Georgia career, coaches toyed with the idea of using him in the slot. He had 64 receptions in his career even though he had just nine this season; he had a combined 48 in his sophomore and junior seasons.
While Michel isn’t seen as a first-rounder, he could go in the second round; at the least, he will be off the board by the end of the second day.
© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.