Cleveland Browns: Top 5 running back targets in the 2018 NFL Draft

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Running back Saquon Barkley
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Running back Saquon Barkley /
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PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 01: Sony Michel
PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 01: Sony Michel /

3. Sony Michel, Georgia

The fascinating thing about Georgia’s Sony Michel is the fact that he was never supposed to be the feature back in the Bulldogs offense. That was supposed to be Nick Chubb, but after Michel’s incredible 2017 season, no one can deny that he became the top guy for the Dawgs.

During the 2017 season, when Michel finally got the spotlight, he became one of the most efficient backs in the country. He averaged a staggering 7.9 yards per carry in 2017, with 1,227 yards in total.

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On the year, Michel scored 16 rushing touchdowns, even though he was not Georgia’s starting running back. He is projected to run just under a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, and standing at 5-foot-11 and weighing around 210, he also has some physical prowess in his game.

Michel is one of the most complete running backs in this class, and would be a three-down bellcow starter for almost any team at the FBS level. Running behind Chubb though, he was part of a stable of running backs at Georgia.

During his two playoff games against Oklahoma and Georgia, Michel burst on to the scene and posted some downright jaw-dropping numbers. With 25 carries for an astounding 279 rushing yards, he averaged 11.2 yards per carry against two of the best defenses Georgia faced in 2017.

Some scouts view Michel as the second option for running back-needy teams in the 2018 NFL Draft. At this point, it is unlikely that he slips to the second round, but even late in the first round, any team would be lucky to have Michel.