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3 things to know about RB Sony Michel, Patriots' selection at No. 31 overall

Ryan Hannable
April 26, 2018 - 11:41 pm

FOXBORO -- With the No. 31 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, the Patriots have selected Georgia running back Sony Michel. It is the first time the Patriots have selected a running back since James White in 2014. The last running back selected in the first round by New England was Laurence Maroney in 2006.

NFL Media's Mike Mayock had him ranked No. 32 overall in his top 100 rankings.

Here are three quick things to know about the newest Patriots running back.

-- At Georgia, Michel was in a backfield that featured Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb, so his opportunities weren't there as much as some other top backs. This past fall, he ran for 1,227 yards on just 156 carries and finished his career third on Georgia's all-time rushing list with 3,638 yards. In the Rose Bowl, he set a career-high for yards in a game with 181 yards on just 11 carries. Michel caught just nine passes out of the backfield as a senior, but had 55 in his first three seasons. He also was a team captain.

-- There were some injury concerns with him, as he reportedly has a “bone-on-bone” condition in his knee that could shorten his career “I love this kid,” former Patriots executive Mike Lombardi said on The Ringer podcast. “I think I’m concerned. There’s a lot of teams telling me there’s a medical concern here, so he could slip a little bit. I don’t know what it is, but the way the medical works at the combine is there’s a table with like six doctors from each team at one table and six different from another team at another table. His medical grade is a little iffy from what I’m told. But this kid, to me, is the prototypical NFL back. He can catch the ball, he can impact the passing game. Remember how we have to evaluate running backs– it’s block, catch, run. It isn’t run, catch, block. And this kid blocks well. This kid can be impactful. I love this kid as a player.”

-- Michel has been compared to New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara, but one thing to note is he has some ball security issues, as he had 12 fumbles (five lost) over his career.

The Patriots selected offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn, also from Georgia, with their first pick in the first round earlier in the night.

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