Colts’ Scouting Report: Sony Michel

Oakland Raiders rival Sony Michel
Jan 8, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Sony Michel (1) runs the ball against Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Ronnie Harrison (15) in the 2018 CFP national championship college football game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

As the Colts look to reload for the 2018 season, there are going to be a lot of new faces on both sides of the ball. For the offense, the new team could use new starters on the front line, wide receivers, and a starter or depth at running back. With over 85 million dollars to spend in free agency and the third overall pick, the Colts will have plenty of ammunition to restock the offense and defense. One prospect that could make a difference on the offense is running back Sony Michel from the SEC Champion Georgia Bulldogs.

Sony Michel: Senior, 5’11” 215 lbs

NFL Comparison: Alvin Kamara

The Colts may already have an explosive, big play type running back with Marlon Mack, but in today’s NFL and especially in a Josh McDaniels’ offense, you can never have enough weapons in the backfield. Michel played most of his career as second fiddle to Nick Chubb but it became apparent as the year went on that the senior running back was the real star in the Georgia backfield.

Game Tape

Let’s start with the obvious about Michel, he is explosive, putting defenders in the rearview mirror fast. Below is a clip from the Rose Bowl game showing just that.

Michel finds a hole and blows by the linebackers, even making the safety fall over on the way, turning on the afterburners to finish off an electric 75-yard touchdown run.

He isn’t only a one step and go type of runner, but has fantastic vision and balance, giving the ability to make talented defenders look silly. Here’s another play from the College Football Playoffs showing Michel’s ability.

The play seems dead from the start, as the famous Bill Parcel said, “All running backs run the same when there are no holes,” but with Michel it’s different, he bounces the ball outside the tackle, racing past four Alabama defenders. For those of you counting, he causes five players to miss on just one play, something that has been lacking from the Colts’ backs in recent years.

Michel is as tough as he is elusive, able to put his shoulder down and get those extra yards between the tackles. This trait is something that the current Colts running back, Marlon Mack, still needs to improve on, making Sony a good compliment in the backfield.

This clip shows that ability again on the college game’s biggest stage, breaking multiple tackles getting a first down on the way. The Colts need those hard-nosed type of runs in their offense.

What about the passing game? Surely he must be great there as well. The best way to get relegated to the bench as a rookie running back is to fail in pass protection. Michel is a willing and talented pass protector, and with the improved technique, it could become one of his many strengths. Out of the backfield, he is a force to be reckoned with, if you need any proof of that, look up one of his many highlights videos, which are littered with great receiving plays.

What makes Michel the perfect fit in Indy is his leadership, with a new coach and the probable loss of Frank Gore, the Colts will need as many leaders as possible for this rebuild, and Michel is precisely that. Head coach Kirby Smart and quarterback Jake Fromm rave about his leadership skills, Fromm saying that Michel “exerts his leadership in everything he does.” The Colts could use some vocal leadership in the locker room, especially from their younger players.

Here is just one of many examples of this, in this clip, Michel discusses how the team bounced back after his fumble in the Rose Bowl.

What are the weaknesses for Michel? Ball security is something he will need to work on the NFL level, as he has put the ball on the turf over ten times during his career, losing one. New coach Josh McDaniels will not tolerate fumbles, but it shouldn’t be too much of an issue to fix. Also, he has enough of an injury history to cause some teams to worry about his durability.
Michel is an explosive player with incredible feet, impressive leadership skills, great hands, and has the size and strength to succeed between and outside the tackles at the NFL level. The Colts could use as many playmakers as possible and just think of Michel and Mack being used like James White and Dion Lewis in New England, an exciting proposition for the Indy faithful.

Right now the predictions are that Michel will go late round one or early round two, which is in range for the Colts to draft him with their second pick. Many things could change between now and on draft day, but if he does stay in that range, Ballard would be wise to possibly trade up into the late first round to ensure they add talent as good as Michel.

Just for fun, here’s the game-winning touchdown in the Rose Bowl out of the “Wild Dawg” formation:

Article by: Maxx Hotton
Follow me @getinhottonhere
Follow us @FPC_Colts


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