The 2018 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday night, and it will be held in Arlington, Texas. Running back Sony Michel was taken in the first round by the New England Patriots with the No. 31 pick. He will join teammate Isaiah Wynn, who was taken with the No. 31 pick.
Michel had a monster senior season for the Bulldogs, as he was a key part of Georgia’s 2017 SEC championship team.
1. Sony Michel is statistically one of the best running backs in Georgia history
Georgia has a long tradition of great running backs, and from a statistical standpoint, Michel is better than most of them. He finished his career with 3,613 rushing yards, more than Todd Gurley and Garrison Hearst. Only Nick Chubb and Herschel Walker finished with more yards at Georgia.
2. Sony Michel has drawn comparisons to Alvin Kamara
Former Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara tore up the NFL in his rookie year, as he amassed 1,554 yards of total offense and 13 touchdowns. Kamara fell to the third round of the 2017 draft in part because of concerns over his ability to carry a workload, something he didn’t do in college.
But it seems like talent evaluators have learned from their mistakes with Kamara, as Michel figures to go much higher. One NFL draft analyst, Bucky Brooks, raved about Michel’s potential to be a Kamara-like player.
“Sony is dynamic,” Brooks said in a conference call. “He’s explosive. He’s proven to be a very, very effective runner and receiver. … I think he will benefit from the Alvin Kamara comparison that many scouts have put on him. When you look at the impact that Kamara was able to have with the New Orleans Saints, as a change-of-pace or matchup weapon, I think many offensive coordinators will view [Michel] like that. And because of that, I think he can go anywhere from the bottom of the first round to the top of the second round for a team that is looking for a chess piece to manipulate on the board.”
3. Sony Michel made for a dominant duo with Nick Chubb
Michel played all four years at Georgia with Chubb, who is also pegged to be a 2018 NFL Draft pick. The pair eventually became one of if not the best running back tandems in college football history.
And Michel has noted that the two helped make each other better. Michel is expected to be picked before Chubb in this draft.
“It was amazing,” Michel said on NFL Network. “It kept each of us on our toes, wanting to get better every day, learning from each other … just kind of bouncing back and forth off each other. And I think that kind of gave us an advantage over every other back in the country that didn’t have that top-notch back right next to him.”
4. Sony Michel was offensive MVP of the Rose Bowl
Michel had arguably his best game on college football’s biggest stage. In the 2018 Rose Bowl, Michel rushed for 181 yards on 11 carries and 3 touchdowns. He also caught 4 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown. He scored the game’s final points, capping the highest scoring Rose Bowl in history and sending Georgia to the National Championship Game.
5. Sony Michel may not have been a starter, but he’s still beloved by Georgia fans
The Georgia running back could’ve declared for the 2017 NFL Draft. But, along with Chubb and fellow teammates Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter, he came back for his senior season.
Michel, in a letter to The Players’ Tribune, the Georgia running back went out of his way to thank the Georgia fan base.
“The thing is, Georgia fans, and the whole UGA community, went out of their way to make it clear that I actually wasn’t a second-string back,” Michel wrote in The Players’ Tribune post. “You guys made me feel special, and every time my name was called, you showed me love as if I was the starter.”