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Seahawks Draft Profile: Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

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CFP National Championship presented by AT&T - Alabama v Georgia Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The other half of college football’s most electrifying running back duo, Sony Michel enters the NFL Draft on the heels of his best college season, rushing for 1227 yards on 7.9 yards per carry and 16 touchdowns. Michel’s production slowed down during Nick Chubb’s return from injury in 2016 - he still rushed for 5.5 yards per carry and four touchdowns - but he helped his draft stock immensely this season, headlined by a 222-yard, four touchdown performance in the Rose Bowl.

Michel is right in the mix with Chubb, Ronald Jones and (depending who you ask) a handful of other backs just behind Saquon Barkley and Derrius Guice. While he was a part of a rotation for the majority of his college career, Michel possesses the size necessary to hold up as a starter in the NFL.

Athletic Ability

Michel’s athletic ability shines on inside runs and in-tight against defenders, where’s he is able to open his hips, change direction and avoid tacklers. His fluidity and ability to accelerate out of a cut is impressive. Michel didn’t test in the broad or vertical jump at the Scouting Combine, but he has an explosive, thick lower half and should test well at Georgia’s pro day.

Vision/Create

On both inside and outside runs, Michel is a patient runner with good vision. He has a tendency to try and run over a defender when there is space to run into; a trait not likely to be seen as a problem to the Seattle Seahawks, but could be a part of a larger issue. On outside runs, Michel is a decisive runner who plants his foot in the ground and gets up-field. He possesses the build to step out of tackles around the line when creating and the athletic ability to execute. His .4557 missed tackles forced per carry is just a touch below his teammate Chubb and the seventh best mark in the last three seasons.

Burst

As evidenced during his romping performance in the Rose Bowl, Michel is capable of hitting the big play when given the opportunity. He has the speed to run away from defenders in the open field — and will run them over if he can’t. On outside runs, Michel has the speed to get to the sideline and turn the corner. He has great burst around the line of scrimmage and through the hole on inside runs.

Finish/Yards After Contact

Check this box once, twice, three times, recycle the paper the box is on, re-print it, then check the box another half-dozen times. Michel could even be faulted for being over aggressive. Regardless, he’s a physical runner who loves to initiate contact and finishes aggressively. He’s happy to meet defenders in the hole and finishes runs with his legs churning.

Passing Game

Michel wasn’t a big part of the Bulldogs’ passing game, posting just 64 catches in four seasons. His big play ability translated, averaging nearly 10 yards per catch (9.7) and his speed out of the backfield will cause linebackers problems in the NFL. If you can give Michel the field side to work with, he will separate at will.

The biggest question mark surrounding his game is turning the ball over. During his time at Georgia, Michel fumbled the ball 12 times and his fumble rate of 54.6 is the second lowest in the draft class.

A physical, punishing runner with a penchant for big plays, Michel fits the ideals of a Pete Carroll running back. One of the many starting-caliber backs in a class chock-full of them, Michel should find himself coming off the board sometime in day two.