Cleveland Browns Draft Profile: Georgia running back Sony Michel

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Sony Michel
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Sony Michel /

The Cleveland Browns head into the 2018 NFL Draft with several picks, could one be used on Georgia running back Sony Michel?

The Cleveland Browns may have signed Carols Hyde to play running back, but that doesn’t mean they won’t draft another with one of their nine picks in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft. With three picks in the second-round alone, they could very well use this round to land a player to compete with Hyde ‚— while also working with Duke Johnson.

One player who could be around on Day 2 is Georgia running back Sony Michel. Although he was a solid producer his whole career with the Bulldogs, Michel really became a household name when he tore it up during the Dawgs run to the NCAA Championship game.

Michel took over in their win against Oklahoma, but isn’t just a flash in the pan type player. He’s a complete back that has seen his stock soar the more people examine his film.

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As a runner

The biggest misconception about Michel is that he’s simply a finesse runner.

He’s surely shown power and the best thing about him is he seems to always fall forward. He played well against a strong Notre Dame defense and was able to make the most out of limited holes.

He does this by winning with his great vision and decisiveness. Michel is able to see a hole and attack it. He wastes no time when there’s an opening and bursts through it. The following video highlights him doing just that in the October game against the previously mentioned Notre Dame game. The best example of this is when he explodes through the hole to go for six.

As a pass catcher

Whether by design or not, Michel was never fully utilized as a receiver. He had 26 receptions as a sophomore, but fell to just nine catches in 2017. There’s a lot of talent there to utilize, but Michel needs to work a little harder on his routes as well. He had a few where he couldn’t get past the defenders — even when it was a linebacker who wasn’t as fast as he is.

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He had a couple rough routes in the following game against Auburn — although to be fair, the whole team stunk it up that day.

Blitz pickup

This is a part of the game where Michel sets himself apart from others. He had a great pickup in the game against Notre Dame and showed awareness in this area throughout the season. He won’t be a liability whatsoever on third downs or any passing plays in general.


Age may be the biggest knock on Michel. He’s 23-years old, which isn’t great considering most rookie running backs are 21. That shouldn’t matter when considering drafting him, but instead just when he looks for contract No. 2.

Michel is a solid option in the second round. While he won’t be as impactful as someone like Saquon Barkley, he also won’t cost near as much. He would also be fine with getting limited snaps as he works in a committee with Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson.

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To sum it up, he would make a ton of sense in Cleveland with one of their three picks in the second — although he likely would cost the No. 33 or 35 pick to secure.