Without many needs, the Eagles have an opportunity to create depth and prepare for the future at the same time with this year’s draft. While it seems the roster looks to be in great shape, there are positions that lack stability for after this season. At running back, they do have a capable all-purpose back in Jay Ajayi as well as Corey Clement as the change of pace back. After this season, however, Ajayi’s contract will be up. Going with a running back at the 32nd pick would not be a bad move for the reigning Super Bowl champs.
Sony Michel was a top-20 recruit coming out of high school and chose to play at the SEC-powerhouse Georgia. He was able to make an impact during his freshman year when Todd Gurley was out due to injury, racking up a total of 516 yards and 6 touchdowns. The next three years he shared the backfield with classmate Nick Chubb as they both dominated defenses. Michel managed to run for over 1,000 yards in two of his last three seasons at Georgia and was as consistent as they get.
Known as the consensus third overall running back in this draft, Michel is a one-cut, no-nonsense runner that rarely loses yards. When he sees a hole, he hits it and is able to use his quickness to burst past linebackers for chunks of yards before they even realize it. Michel is also known to finish strong by leveling his pads to the defender and grabbing every extra yard possible. There is no doubt that he will be able to be on the field as a three-down back as well. Being a reliable blocker and pass-catcher is something that Michel takes pride in.
While having great burst, Michel struggles to make tight cuts and getting back up to speed. Playing behind guys like projected first-rounder, Isaiah Wynn also helped in giving him open running lanes that might not be there in the NFL. When hitting the open field, Michel often chooses to lower the pads and finish on the defender, rather than making a move to go for it all.
Diagnosis: NFL Starting Running Back
Sony Michel has the overall skill set that you want in an NFL running back. Unfortunately, he does not have the talent to do it all on his own and needs to be put in a good situation to truly succeed. If Michel can get drafted to the right team with an upper-echelon offensive line, he could have a great career.